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Authors are alone responsible for their respective Statements. 




VOLUME I: 1885. 


Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to Her Majesty, 




v. I 

Ct^r or--c 



(Elected 4th November 1885.) 



His Grace The Duke of Arc.yli., K.G., K.T. 
His trace The Duke of Sutherland, K.G. 
The Most Noble The Marquess of Tweeddale. 
The Most Noble The Marquess of Lothian, K.T., LL.D. 
The Right Hon. The Earl of Galloway. 
The Right Hon. The Earl of Dalhousie. 
The Right Hon. The Earl of Wemyss, LL.D. 
The Right Hon. The Earl of Aberdeen, LL.D. 
The Right Hon. The Earl of Glasgow, LL.D. 
The Right Hon. The Earl of Rosslyn, M.A. 
The Right Hon. Lord Forbes, M.A., F.R.G.S. 
The Right Hon. Lord Balfour of Burleigh. 
The Right Hon. Lord Reay, D.C.L., LL.D. 
The Right Hon. Lord Polwarth. 

The Right Hon. J. B. Balfour, LL.D., M.P., Dean 
of Faculty. 

Admiral of the Fleet Sir A. Milne, Bart, G.C.B., 

Sir Donald Currie, K.C.M.G., M.P. 
Sir George Harrison, LL.D. 
Colonel H. Yule, C.B., LL.D., F.R.G.S. 
Professor James Geikie, LL.D., F.R.S. 
1). Milne Home, of Milnegraden, LL.D. 
John Cowan, of Beealack. 
Principal Sir William Muir, K.C.S.I., LL.D., 

William Maikinnon, of Balnakill. 
The Right Hon. The Earl of Chaw ford and Bal- 

carres, LL.D., F.R.S. 
Sir Charles U. Aitchison, K.C.S.I., CLE., LL.D., 

Lieut. -Governor of the Punjab. 

Ordinary Members of Council. 

T. B. Johnston, F.R.S.E., F.R.G.S. 

David Pryde, LL.D., F.R.S. E. 

The Right Hon. Lord Provost Clark. 

James Stevenson, F.R.G.S. 

Alex. Lainq, LL.D., F.S.A. Scot., Newburgh. 

Sir William Johnston, of Kirkhill. 

Coutts Trotter, F.R.G.S. 

Alexander Thomson. 

Prof. James Donaldson, LL.D., Aberdeen. 

Robert Chambers. 

James Clyde, ALA., LL.D. 

James Campbell, of Tillichewan. 

Dr. George Smith, CLE., F.R.G.S. 

William Smith, LL.D. 

F. Faithfull Beog. 

John Lowe, F.R.C.S. 

Rev. J. Cameron Lees, D.D. 

Rev. Prof. Blaikie, D.D., F.R.G.S. 

Robert Cox, of Gorgie, M.A., F.R.S.E. 

D. F. Lowe, M.A. 

John Geddie, F.R.G.S. 

James Currie, Leith. 

James Grahame, C.A., Glasgow. 

Thomas Harvey, LL.D. 

F. H. Groome. 

Robert Hutchison, of Carlowrie, F.R.S.E. 

John Bartholomew, F.R.G.S. 

Dr. W. G. Blackie, F.R.G.S., Glasgow. 

James Tait Black, F.R.S.E. 

Prof. Cossar Ewart, M.D. 

Adam W. Black. 

Prof. Roberton, LL.D., Glasgow. 

Principal Peterson, M.A., LL.D., Dundee. 

David Patrick, M.A. 

A. B. M'Grigor, LL.D., Glasgow. 

Rev. A. Gray - Maitland, Crieff. 

Thomas Muir, LL.D., Glasgow. 

Prof. Calderwood, LL.D. 

T. R. Buchanan, M.P. 

H. J. Younger. 

Alexander Buchan, M.A., F.R.S.E. 

Hugh Cleghorn, M.D., LL.D., F.R.S.E. 

W. Scott Dalgleish, M.A. 

Edward Cox, M.A., Dundee. 

Sir Alexander Christison, Bart., M.D. 

Sir Michael Connal, Glasgow. 

Colonel Dods. 

Dr. Robert W. Felkin, F.R.S.E., F.R.G.S. 

Rev. George A. Smith, If. A., Aberdeen. 

W. Orr Leitch, Greenock. 

David Stewart, M. A., Aberdeen. 

(Trustees— Adam Black ; Robert Cox of Gorgie ; James Currie ; and the Honorary Treasurers, ex officio. 

Sonorarn Secretaries— Ralph Richardson, W.S., F.R.S.E. ; John George Bartholomew. 

fgonoraro Iiiitor— Hugh A. Webster. Secretarg ant) ISfcitor— Arthur Silva White. 

fgonorarg ^Treasurers— Alexander L. Bruce, Edinburgh; Robert Gourlay, Bank of Scotland, Glasgow. 

Jonorarg librarian— William C Smith, LL.B., Advocate. fHap=Curator— John George Bartholomew. 



It is provided by Chapter I. § iv. of the Constitution and Laws 
of the Scottish Geographical Society, that — 

" TJie Ordinary Members shall be those who are approved by the 
Council, andvjho pay tlie ordinary annual subscription, or a composition 
for life-membership" 

The Annual Subscription is One Guinea (no Entrance Fee), 
which is payable in advance at the commencement of the Session, 
on November 1st of each year. A single payment of Ten Guineas 
constitutes a Life-Membership. Application Forms may be had by 
addressing the Secretary, Scottish Geographical Society, 80a Princes 
Street, Edinburgh. 

The Privileges of Membership include admission (with one friend; 
to all Meetings of the Society, and the use of the Library and 
Map-Room. Each Member is entitled to receive free by post the 
Scottish Geographical Magazine, which is published monthly, and any 
other ordinary publication of the Society. 

Branches of the Society have been established in Glasgow, 
Dundee, and Aberdeen, where periodical Meetings are held. 

The Membership at the close of the year 1885 was 1045. 


VOLUME I., 1885. 


Central Africa and the Congo Basin. Inaugural Address to the Scottish 

Geographical Society, by H. M. Stanley, 
Scotland and Geographical Work, . 
The Physical Features of Scotland. By Professor James Geikie, LL.D. 


Honorary Members of the Scottish Geographical Society, 
Stations of the International Congo Association, 
Proceedings of the Scottish Geographical Society, . 
Queries and Replies, 
Geographical Notes, 
Geographical Literature, 1884. 
New Books, .... 
New Maps, .... 



Maps axd Illustrations — 

Portrait of Mr. H. M. Stanley (Frontispiece). 
Map of Biver Basins of Africa. 
Orographical Map of Scotland. 

No. IV.— APRIL. 

Rivers and Rivers. By James Clyde, M.A., LL.D., 

Eastern Route to Central Africa. By Frederick L. Maitland Moir, 




The Egyptian Sudan, ...... 

Use of Cylindrical Projections for Geographical, Astronomical, and 

Scientific Purposes. By the Rev. James Gall, 
The Scottish Geographical Society. Meeting of the Aberdeen Branch, 
Mr. Forbes's Proposed Expedition to New Guinea, 
Queries and Replies, ...... 

Geographical Notes, ....... 

New Books, ........ 

New Maps, ........ 

Sou th-East Central Africa. 
Diagrams illustrating Cylindrical Projections. 





No. V.— MAY. 

British Interests in Eastern Equatorial Africa. By H. H. Johnston, 

F.R.G.S., . 

Sketch of South- Western Turkomania. Part I. By M. Paul M. Lessar, 

Disturbances in the Canadian North-West, 

The French in Tonquin. By John Geddie, F.R.G.S., 

Persian Trade, . ..... 

Donations to the Scottish Geographical Society, 
Proceedings of the Scottish Geographical Society, . 
Queries and Replies, ..... 

Geographical Notes, ..... 

New Books, ....... 

New Maps, ....... 

Comparative Table of the most important Measures of Length, 

Maps — 

Eastern Equatorial Africa. 
South- Western Turkomania. 


No. VI.— JUNE. 

Herat and its Environs. By Professor Arminius Vamb^ry, . . 209 

The Egyptian Sudan. By Dr. R. W. Felkin, F.R.S.E., F.R.G.S., . 221 

Sketch of South-Western Turkomania. Part II. By M. Paul M. Lessar, 239 

Proceedings of the Scottish Geographical Society, .... 256 

Queries and Replies, ....... 257 

Geographical Notes, . . . . . . .259 


New Books, ..... 
New Maps, ..... 

Map axd Illustration — 

Portrait of Professor Vambery. 

Sketch Map of Canadian Pacific Railway. 



No. VII.— JULY. 

Notes of a Voyage up the Calabar, or Cross River, in November 1884. 

By the Rev. Hugh Goldie, ...... 273 

Australian Traditions. By the Rev. Robert Hamilton, Melbourne, . 283 

Notes on the Place-Names of Kinross-shire and Vicinity. By W. J. N. 

Liddall, M.A. (Edin.), B.A. (Bond.), Advocate, . . .286 

The Congo Free State, ....... 290 

The Story of the Rescue of Greely, ..... 304 

Mr. Henry 0. Forbes in the Eastern Archipelago, .... 310 

Togo-Band, . . . . . . . .316 

Proceedings of the Scottish Geographical Society, . . . .318 

Geographical Notes, . . . . . . .319 

New Books, . . . . . . . . . 332 

New Maps, ......... 335 

Maps — 

. Old Calabar River. 


East Africa, between the Zambesi and Rovuma Rivers : Its People, Riches 
and Development, By Henry E. O'Neill, F.R.A.S., 

Explorations by A k in Great Tibet and Mongolia, 

The Scot Abroad, .... 

Orthography for Native Names of Places, . 

Proceedings of the Scottish Geographical Society, 

Queries and Replies, 

Geographical Notes, 

New Books, ..... 

New Maps, ..... 

Maps — 

Our South African Empire. 
Batanga River. 
VOL. I. b 




Rapids and Waterfalls. By George G. Chisholm, M.A., B.Sc, F.R.G.S., 
The Present Position of Geographical Onomatology, . . , 

Astronomical Observations between Mozambique Coast and Lake Nyassa. 

Taken by H. E. O'Neill, F.R.A.S., F.R.G.S., 
Geographical Notes, ....... 

New Books, ......... 

Map — 

The Scottish Colony on the Shire" Highlands, showing Routes to 
the Mozambique (Mozambik) Coast. 





The Portuguese Possessions in West Africa. By H. H. Johnston, F.Z.S., 
F.R.G.S., etc., ...... 

On Some Recent Explorations in New Guinea. By Coutts Trotter 

What has been done for the Geography of Scotland, and what remains to 
be done. By H. A. Webster, ..... 

Geographical Education. By J. Scott Keltie, Librarian, R.G.S., . 

The Welle-Congo Theory : a New Solution of an Old Problem, 

Geographical Notes, ....... 

New Maps, ........ 





Welle River Theories 


North- West Australia. By John George Bartholomew Hon. Sec. S.G.S., 

The Basin of the Beauly. By Thomas D. Wallace, F.G.S. Edin., F.S.A Scot., 

Roraima. By Everard F. im Thurn, 

Geography and Trade in the East. By John Gedclie, F.R.G.S.. 

Report to Council. By Mr. Coutts Trotter, 

Loan Collection of Scottish Maps, . 

Geographical Notes, .... 

New Books, ..... 

New Maps, ..... 



Physical Sketch-map of North- West Australia. 



Anniversary Address. By Lieutenant A. W. Greely, U.S. Army, . 593 

Askja : The Great Volcanic Crater of Iceland. By James Wight, . . 613 

Thoroddsen on the Lava Desert in the Interior of Iceland. By J. W. 

M'CTindle, M.A, M.R.A.S, 626 

The Caroline Islands. By Thomas Muir, LL.D., F.R.S.E., . 634 

Lieutenant A. W. Greely, United States Army, .... 639 

Proceedings of the Scottish Geographical Society, .... <J4i I 

Geographical Notes. . . . . . . . (i41 

New Books, ........ r,~r2 

New Maps, ......... 656 

Maps and Illustrations — 

Chart showing the Geographical Discoveries of Lieutenant Greely V 

Expedition . 
North Polar Chart, showing International Polar Stations, 1882- 

Portrait of Lieutenant Greely. 





Delivered before the Scottish Geographical Society at 
Edinburgh, 3rd December 1884, 


Ladies and Gentlemen, — Concerning the merits of a Geographical 
Society there are numbers of eminent men in your own city more qualified 
to speak than I. But since you care to hear my ideas upon the subject, 
with your very good leave let me ask you to join me in viewing 
geographical science as it affects Africa, from an African traveller's 

And first of all let us look well at the position whence we propose to 
take our view of geography. We know that London has a very powerful 
Geographical Society under Royal patronage. It is a matter of course 
that, as the metropolis of this British Empire, it should have a hall 
wherein all that appertains to the science should be diligently studied, 
and a body of men devoted to it. But it appears to me that London, 
large as it is, possesses no more intrinsic interest in the study than does 
Liverpool, Manchester, Glasgow', Edinburgh, Newcastle, Hull, Bristol, or 
Plymouth. The reasons why London should be interested in it are also 
applicable to every large seaport or manufacturing town in this kingdom. 
Their ships, or their products of loom and forge, are despatched to every 
point of this globe possessing a mart ; and to an enterprising shipowner, 
or an enterprising manufacturer, if he wishes to know his business well, 
it is essential that he should know something of geography ; and why 
should it not be a subject of interest to the merchant's clerk and book- 
keeper, or to the manufacturer's assistants, employes, clerks, and packers 
VOL. I. A 


— ay. even down to the smallest boy of the factory ; and to extend the 
question further, -why should it not be studied by every resident, male 
or female, of this country 1 

We are told that there are 35,000,000 of people in Great Britain and 
Ireland. Take the larger and lesser island, and the people that its 
area of cultivable soil is able to support cannot exceed 6,000,000. The 
remaining 29,000,000, or by this time 30,000,000, are consequently fed by 
what is imported from abroad. 

What is abroad 1 To give a geographical definition of this one word 
would require a portentously large volume ; but if you picture or delineate 
it on a map, the outlines of abroad coidd be sufficiently made known to you 
on a small sheet, whereon you would see, printed in large letters, Europe, 
Asia, Africa, America, and Australia, with the large oceans named 
Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Antarctic, and Arctic, while, set apart and isolated 
from the large area of land, there would be a mere dot or dots, as it Avere, 
called the islands of Great Britain and Ireland, which, as you all know, 
have nearer relations with the other places marked on the outskirts of 
those continental configurations before you than any other small dot or 
dots found there. Those small island dots at the northern part of the 
Atlantic Ocean represent this United Kingdom with its millions of 
cunning workmen, its thousands of screaming locomotives darting across 
from shore to shore, its thousands of groaning factories, its never-dying 
hum and murmur of labour, and rush and rapid movement of earnest life. 
On such a small sheet how, for instance, without a microscope, could you 
discover the locality of this city of Edinburgh 1 That local knowledge 
which you have of your city may be called geographical knowledge of an 
infinitesimal quantity. Supposing this knowledge be also extended to 
London, at once you realise the picture presented by Mayhew of the 
" strange incongruous chaos of the most astounding riches and prodigious 
poverty, of feverish ambition and apathetic despair, of the highest charity 
and the darkest crime, the great focus of human emotion, the scene of 
countless struggles, failures, and successes, where the very best and the 
very worst types of civilised society are found to prevail, where there are 
more houses and more houseless, more feasting and more starvation, more 
philanthropy and more stony-heartedness than in any other spot in the 
Avorld ! " To you who have been there, and know what London means, 
this picture seems nothing exaggerated. 

To many a beginner in life, in this island of yours, London appears 
to be the place best suited to his ambition, because he has a dim percep- 
tion that there he will find the best market for Avhatever merits he may 
be endoAved with. He has heard of London from his fellows, his 
relatives, his friends ; he has read of London in books and journals, and 
the hope is inspired in him from the knowledge thus gained that there 
he may dispose of himself to the best ach^antage. As London, or, in 
fact, any great city, presents itself to the mind of the ambitious and 
Avell-meaning rustic, so the knowledge gained by the capitalist, the manu- 


facturer, the shipper, the civil engineer, the mechanic, the miner, of 
abroad, or the world at large, is sought to be utilised, with the same view 
and purpose. There are great enterprises requiring the capitalist's 
assistance waiting to be accomplished, there are markets abroad for the 
manufacturer, there are ports requiring ships from the shipowner, there 
are countries to be surveyed by the civil engineer, bridges and railways 
to be constructed, there are forges elsewhere for the deft mechanic, 
mines of precious ore and coal for the miner, and there are large areas to 
be tilled by the agriculturist and farmer. Some kind of geographical 
knowledge is necessary before any of these hopes can be realised. To 
him or to those who possess it, the configurations on the world-chart 
appear as clearly defined as though they were the outlines of a mans 
real estate — the world is only a huge breeding-farm, and the various ports 
round about the shores are like so many stalls at a market-place — and 
the people therein are only so many vendors and buyers. 

It was by some recognition of this fact that the study of geography 
had a practical value and benefit for the fathers of the modern English 
people; that those islet dots in the North Atlantic came to have intimate 
relationship with the world at large, and little Britain expanded into that 
mighty dominion over islands and continents known as Greater Britain ; 
that your gallant youths and brave men forsook home and kindred, and 
sailed over the seas to found empires in Eastern Asia, republics in 
America, and colonies in the West Indies, Australia, and the Cape of 
Good Hope. Why should Captain John Smith, or the Pilgrim Fathers, 
or that bold boy, Robert Clive, have gone away from their warm hearths 
straight to their various destinations, had they not known somewhat of 
the lands they were bound for 1 And if those men in the olden time, 
with their modicum of geographical knowledge as to their destinations, 
produced such great results, why may we not expect that, by the diffusion 
of this knowledge of the yet unknown earth and its products among the 
masses of the people, the souls of other men may be stirred to strive for 
those advantages gained by the enterprising % 

I am told that at No. 1 Savile Row, London, the Royal Geogi-aphical 
Society possesses charts rolled up and snugly stored away all in due order, 
enough to cover acres upon acres of ground if they were spread out ; and 
their collection is monthly growing larger. But that great metropolis, 
great as it is, is but a small portion of Great Britain, and I should say 
that Liverpool, or Glasgow, or Birmingham, or Manchester, has as many 
business correspondents in various parts of the world as London has, and 
that if a Geographical Society is useful for London, a Geographical Society 
would be no less useful for any great seaport and manufacturing city in 
Great Britain. You will observe that I am speaking of a society of 
geography, not as an ornamental addition to a great city, but from an 
utilitarian point of view : I should wish it to be of real use and interest 
to you ; otherwise I should admit that the Royal Society of Geography 
was sufficient for the United Kingdom, and that one museum of maps 


and books relating to tho topography, hydrography, geology, and ethno- 
graphy of the countries of the world was quite enough. I should wish 
to disseminate this knowledge of geography among you and the people 
of other great cities in Britain, in order that any time you should feel a 
desire to extend your enterprises to foreign shores, you might, by refer- 
ence to the maps and books of your local society, be able to know how to 
set about it — what hopes the country you had in mind offered to your 
enterprises, what difficulties you would have to encounter, and what 
rewards were in store for you. I should wish you to be able to follow the 
promoter of any mercantile enterprise intelligently, each with his own 
best judgment, not blindly or rashly, and to measure justly the value of 
the advantages he offers. It has been told to you before, doubtless, and 
it may be said again, that geographical knowledge clears the path for 
commercial enterprise, and commercial enterprise has been in most lands 
the beginning of civilisation. Csesar was the first explorer in this limited 
kingdom, but geographical knowledge of Britain took longer time to be 
diffused among the people of Rome than that of Africa will take among 
the people of England and Scotland. For centuries after Caesar's invasion 
and Agricola's circumnavigation of the island, the young patricians of 
Rome regarded with horror expatriation from their sunny land, amid the 
fogs and aguish colds of Britain, just as the patricians of Britain to-day 
would regard compulsory service under the equatorial sun of Africa. 

For centuries, Marco Polo's dictum respecting a fertile and commercial 
region now occupied by French soldiers, and exploited by French mer- 
chants — I refer to Tonquin — was accepted as true until French and 
English explorers proved it to be the reverse. Said he — " The country is 
wild, and hard of access, full of great woods and mountains which it is 
impossible to pass, the air is so impure and unwholesome, and any 
foreigner attempting it would die for certain." How many places have 
been reported in a similar manner to have such impure air, and to be so 
unwholesome, until exact exploration proved the old stories to be no better 
than " old granny's fables " about the invisible bug-a-boos and hobgoblins 
which frightened our childhood. Take up any old map of Africa, and 
glance at the antique and grotesque creations of the Portuguese mis- 
sionaries and travellers of the 15th and 16th centuries, and compare it 
with that of to-day, illustrated by the travels of nearly 800 explorers. 
It is only now that we begin to have a rational idea as to what Africa 
is, and whether commercial enterprise is in any way possible. Before, 
it lay a huge unshapely mass, grimly outfigured on all maps, with an 
exasperating mystery and blankness about it, here and there relieved by 
illustrations which might be either lions or cats, by elephants, and nameless 
antelopes. It had an enormous coast-line of some 11,000 miles in length, 
sadly deficient in harbours and navigable rivers ; and from a spot not far 
removed from the Cape of Good Hope, from a wide branching head, there 
winded the Nile along a circuitous course of about 10,000 miles towards 
the Mediterranean. Very few in those old days ever reasoned that, if the 


Nile rose in such close proximity to the ('ape of Good Hope, its top-head 
must surely be in the very highest of high mountains. Yet there must 
have been some reasoning of the kind to account for the manner in which 
the "Mountains of the Moon" were so persistently adhered to in the 
maps of our youthful days. And, at any rate, it is strange that some De 
Soto or Speke did not strike across from Xatal and launch a boat on its 
waters to float down past the towers and towns so plentifully disfiguring 
the old maps. 

I am not a very old man, yet I remember very well that until late 
years my conception of the regions under the equator, and down to within 
the neighbourhood of Bechuana Land, was that a desert similar to that 
of the Libyan in colour and quality- monopolised what I now know to be 
of matchless fertility. 

Just think what the geographical knowledge of Africa that we possess 
to-day has cost in human life ! Of those 800 explorers, who left comfort- 
able bed ami board to gain it for us, nearly two-thirds have perished from 
disease or by murder. From Mungo Park down to Livingstone no 
continent that we know of can show such strenuous endeavour and per- 
sistent effort to clear the mystery and let light in on the unknown. It is 
nearly ninety years ago since Mungo Park left the English factory of 
Pisania on the Gambia for the Niger. Ten years later he was drowned, 
while descending the Niger, in the rapids of Bussa, 500 miles from its 
mouth. Decade after decade witnessed the victims which the river 
demanded as the price of the knowledge of its course, until Richard 
Lander, with his brother John, floated from Bussa, down the Niger, to 
the sea. 

The geographical knowledge thus dearly bought led the way t'> tie' 
commercial enterprise of Macgregor Laird, in 1832. Scheme after 
scheme followed, ending in disaster, owing to the general ignorance of 
how to live under those new climatic conditions, until now the National 
African Company has established itself on a solid basis, and the enter- 
prise is rewarded by a remunerative profit. 

Let us look at the Cape of Good Hope. Bartholomew Diaz, in 1486, 
was the first navigator who reached that distant point of Africa. He 
planted a cross at Algoa Bay on the 14th September of that year, just 
398 years ago. One hundred and sixty-six years later the Dutch East 
India Company sent 100 colonists to found a settlement there. Seventy- 
two years later the colonists had reached the Great Fish River. In 1815, 
by the Treaty of Paris, this country was ceded to the British Government ; 
and since then British authority, following fast after exploration and 
geographical knowledge, has extended to the twenty-eighth parallel, and 
— with the exception of the territory occupied by the Orange Free State 
— right across Africa. The value of the commercial intercourse with 
this region is now, in round numbers, £17,000,000 annually, though there 
are only about 300,000 whites in the 3,000,000 population which contri- 
butes to this trade. 


But preceding this extension of commerce were the scientific, sporting, 
and missionary explorers. In reading their researches and travels, we are 
struck by the number of incidents attending each journey, and are 
filled with admiration and pity as we learn how they wagoned across 
great expanses of arid regions, with cattle dying by dozens from thirst, 
how disaster overtook them in the shape of onslaughts from savages and 
attacks from wild beasts, while timid Hottentots scurried away from 
every peril, and left the brave Anglo-Saxon hearts all alone in the 
danger; and yet, despite all their numberless mischances, they bring- 
away, one after another, that little handful of geographical knowledge 
which is required before a step is advanced by the civilisation which 
is invited to follow them. And, after the considerate pause, we see it 
gather courage and press still further onward, to halt once more on the 
threshold of the unknown until the self-formed Intelligence Department 
has received exact information of the regions beyond from its exploring 
scouts, who have wandered far a-field with sextant and chronometer and 
prismatic compass. 

When you have rounded the Cape you are directly on the route which 
Vasco de Gama took in his little ships when he led the way to India 387 
years ago. While we mentally contemplate the length of wild sea-water 
that stretches from Cape St. Francis, in South Africa, to Cape Comorin, 
at the southern extremity of India, let us think of the prodigious commerce 
that has followed the geographical knowledge given us by the bold 
Portuguese navigator and his successors. With India, China, Australia, 
Japan, the Dutch East Indies, the East Coast of Africa, the Persian Gulf, 
Mauritius, Madagascar, and Natal, and the French possessions, United 
Europe had a trade, in 1882, of the value of nearly 450 millions of pounds 
sterling. The discovery of America by Columbus in like manner has 
caused a commerce to spring up during nearly a similar period, which, in 
1882, was of the value of £600,000,000. 

I have hitherto sought to excite your regard for geography by showing 
you as vividly as I can what the purpose of the study is, how it has been 
and is intimately connected with the growth of the British Empire and 
with the rapid increase in population and importance of your own city. 
The effect and result of the travels, researches, and explorations of a host 
of bygone travellers is visible to-day in every great centre of industry and 
commerce throughout the British Empire. Now, if you duly appreciate 
the summit of grandeur to which you have attained, and can thoroughly 
divine the cause and large effect of what has already been accomplished 
by a few lessons in rudimental geography, and desire to maintain that 
supremacy in devising and doing, you must now turn your attention to 
other fields, because your success has excited the envy of many nations, 
and they have become competitors for whatever gifts of fortune enterprise 
can win. The Americans are now manufacturing their own cottons, and 
India exports some £16,000,000 worth of cotton fabric every year, and 
every nation in Europe manufactures its own cottons, mainly, and this 


process will go on each year until there will be very little left of the world 
for a market for your handiwork. Education of all peoples is growing 
and .spreading, and with it development of handicraft skill. Lowell com- 
petes with Manchester, Pittsburg with Birmingham, the Delaware with 
the Clyde, Xew York with London and Liverpool, and in the course of a 
few decades there will be a hundred competitors in the market; therefore 
you must not lay the flattering auction to your souls, that, because you 
are unsurpassed to-day in your enterprise and skill, it will remain ever 
thus. With you, as well as with the rest, there must be progress, enlighten- 
ment, advance, or the day is not far distant when you will be outstripped 
And whereas you owe so much to geographical knowledge, you must 
cherish that knowledge, and go on acquiring it; you must teach it to your 
youths, that when they arrive at manhood each may know that beyond 
these islands there lie vast regions where they also may carve out fortunes 
as their forefathers did in the olden time. You must extend it among the 
mature men, that they may be led to reflect, if in some little-known part 
of this world there may not lie as rich markets as any now so earnestly 
competed for. That this knowledge may be accessible, and easy to obtain 
with all the light necessary for a perfect comprehension of it, some of your 
thoughtful and lofty-minded men of Edinburgh have proposed to form a 
Geographical Society right in your very midst. I earnestly wish it the 
fullest success ; and it is for this reason that I consented to show you some 
new markets in long-forgotten Africa, and to expatiate upon them with 
what knowledge I may possess. 

If you look upon a map of Africa you will find that it is 'lotted around 
with names of sea-ports, and landing-places, and sea-shore villages thickly 
enough ; that here and there — as in the neighbourhood of the Nile and 
the northern coast of Africa, and at Cape Colony — more or less advance 
has been made towards the great bod)' and heart of the continent. Round 
about the coast-line measures about 15,000 English miles, and if we 
measured 200 miles direct inland all round as the average depth of the 
country thoroughly exploited by commercial men, we should find that an 
area of about 3,000,000 square English miles is already contributing its 
produce and stuffs in exchange for European manufactures. But as Africa 
altogether contains an area of nearly 13,000,000 square English miles, we 
have a balance of 10,000,000 square miles open for us, and yet unde- 
veloped. About 2,000,000 square miles of this must be set aside as 
untillable, by which we have 8,000,000 left — an area nearly two and a 
half times larger than Europe. It would be impossible to state accurately 
the population of this area, but, after having travelled and explored across 
Africa over some thirty-two degrees of longitude, and up and down some 
ten degrees of latitude, I have estimated, after various efforts at reasonable 
exactitude, that the population may be at the average rate of twenty-two 
souls to every square mile, which would give us a total of 176,000,000. 
In some favourable localities the population much exceeds this, as in 
Uganda, Urundi, and in large portions of the Congo and Niger basins. 


In the latter basin we find the native towns of Egga with 30,000 people, 
Sansanding about the same, Jenne with 10,000, Kano with 30,000, 
Yakoba with a population estimated at 150,000, and Birnie, in the Chad 
district, with 60,000. The Sokoto Enquire is estimated to have a popula- 
tion of 13,000,000, which would give sixty souls to each square mile of 
its area. On the Congo we have clusters of villages extending along the 
banks from five to fifteen miles, as Bolobo, Lukolela, and Mangala ; and 
in Irebu we have a small compact district, where the natives are so dense, 
that 100 to the square mile may be a fair estimate. 

I should divide this 8,000,000 area and its population in this manner : — 
The Niger basin, with an area of 700,000 square miles, 23,000,000 ; the 
Nile basin, exclusive of Egypt, 900,000 square miles, with a population of 
36,000,000 ; the Zambezi basin, 700,000 square miles in extent, with 
10,500,000; the Congo basin, 1,300,000 square miles, with 39,600,000; 
and the basin of the Chad and Shari, 300,000 square miles, with 15,000,000. 
You have then a population of 50,000,000 to be divided over the remaining 
large area of 4,000,000, because this would embrace all the less favoured 
territories, the slopes of the mountain ranges, the wide but thinly-peopled 
territories of the Masai, the Kalahari desert, Fezzan and the Galla Land, 
and the western portion of Somali territory, the basins of the Juba and 

Now the great river basins, the Niger and Chad-Shari, Nile, Zambezi, 
and Congo, are each accessible by widely different routes. The Niger and 
Chad-Shari market can best be reached by the delta of the Niger. 
A powerful company, called the National African, with a capital of 
£2,000,000, has been formed with the view of supplying this populous 
market. It is just thirty-two years since the commercial traffic — which 
only now begins to be remunerative — was properly started by Mr. 
Macgregor Laird. When we think of the prospects before it, its advance 
appears to be extremely slow. The natives are warlike and insolent, and 
seem inclined to dispute the advance of the trader. The middle-men, who 
thrive upon the commissions they collect during the passage of the goods 
from the hands of the original sellers to the ultimate buyers, argue that 
if the white men are allowed to trade freely with those above them 
their occupation will be gone. On such people the best argument would 
be the presence of a Government Official who could guarantee the payment 
of a small subsidy on the one hand — conditional upon free passage up 
and down the river — and on the other could show a small police force to 
punish the refractory. The result would be an immediate increase in the 
trade, and a steady advance into the populous interior, where, possibly, we 
might hear of some railway undertaking to Kuka on Lake Chad, and 
steam communication up the Shari. A railway, 300 miles in length, to 
reach a navigable river 500 miles in length and a lake 10,000 square miles 
in extent, for a ti'ade with 15,000,000 of semi-civilised people, appears to 
me a very desirable project. 

Then there is the Niger itself. A railway of 150 miles long, from a 


point below Bussa to near Yauri, would give you 1000 miles of the 
Upper Niger, by which you could supply some 18,000,000 of people above 
Bussa, as far as Timbuktu, Yawaru. Jenne, Sansanding, and Sego, where 
the Niger is as broad as the Thames at Westminster. Or a railway, 300 
miles Long, from the head of navigation on the Rokel River, at the mouth 
of which Sierra Leone is situated, would take you to the Niger, and 
furnish you with a river navigation of 1000 miles. The great kingdoms 
of Waday, Bagirmi, Bornu, and Sokoto would become commercial tribu- 
taries to this country by these railway enterprises, which any half-a-dozen 
rich capitalists of Scotland could cause to be made. That some effort has 
not been made is probably due to your ignorance of the little-known 
geography of these regions, and to the indefinite and uncertain ideas 
which possess you generally respecting Western Africa. I fear also that 
the Government is a little to blame for its proneness to cast cold water 
upon such projects, fearing the increasing obligations that would be 
entailed by any sudden expansion of commercial thought and extension of 
enterprise of this kind. Where there is a will, however, there is always a 
way. and if your rich people take to such projects kindly, as in the olden 
time your forefathers amplified their businesses and built up this wide- 
spreading empire, the project I have indicated to you will seem but small 
compared to the reward- which always follow such high-spirited and 
broad-minded ventures. 

That such a scheme is not impossible is proved by the fact that the 
French are actually building a railroad from the Senegal to Sego, to 
absorb a trade which should have been British. When it is completed 
they will have an opportunity to increase their trade to the extent of 
£30,000,000 annually. We may therefore, if you please, consider the 
major portion of the Nile Basin as closed to you, unless you may be 
prompted to run a race with the French. Though you are actually in 
possession of the lesser portion of the Nile Basin, I think you are as likely 
as not to lose some portion of the trade there, for the stout-hearted and 
persistent Germans have planted their standard, and propose to found a 
colony on its southern edge, and if their Government will subsidise this 
infant settlement judiciously, they can easily tap the upper portion of the 
Cross River, and the Binue, the main affluent of the Niger. 

Let us glance at the Nile basin. You are happily situated just at this 
juncture to be able to take an intelligent and lively interest in the study 
of the basin. Though powerless to exert any influence, I fear, upon the 
policy of the Government, yet since your countrymen are there in such 
numbers, urged forward to the rescue of great Gordon, it is a curious 
question which we may well ask, whether all the vast expense now being 
incurred will be productive of interest to industrious cities like your own ? 
I am not one of those who would wish to subjugate populous tribes and 
conquer regions solely for the sake of commerce, were it only that it 
is altogether unprofitable. Should the Government, while pursuing its 
own policy, indirectly promote commerce, then it would be a matter for 


congratulation ; or, in other words, should the Government see fit to 
retain Khartoum for high politic reasons, then undoubtedly such a course 
would indirectly promote commerce. But if it be argued that the Govern- 
ment ought to retain Khartoum because it would be advantageous to 
commerce, it does not follow that in the end it would be so. Commerce 
cannot thrive when based on unjustifiable violence. 

But supposing that Egypt were permanently occupied and annexed 
to this Empire, it would be politic for Egypt's sake to retain Khartoum, 
and I should see no injustice in the step, because it is in reality a city in 
an upper province long ago annexed to Egypt. You might then be con- 
gratulated upon it, because it would thus be profitable to construct a 
railway from Suakim to Berber, by which you would gain easy access to a 
navigable river course over a thousand miles long to beyond Gondokoro, 
and some 500 miles up the Bahr-el-Ghazal and its branches, and some 200 
miles to Senaar, altogether about 2000 miles. It is a populous basin, and 
its products are manifold and various, and altogether, as a commercial 
field, a most profitable one. 

The third great basin we have to consider is the Zambezi basin. This 
river is the third largest stream in Africa, the largest that issues out of 
Africa on the east, and has a length of 1400 English miles. It is not so 
free of rapids as the other great African rivers ; still, under a pushing 
government, it might be utilised to a great extent. Two or three long 
stretches of navigable water might be connected, and in this way a means of 
communication opened up to take one two-thirds of the way across Africa. 
But though explored by Livingstone in 1854, and again by Livingstone 
and Kirk in 1859, the Zambezi yet remains in its pristine state of 
undevelopment and inutility. An affluent of it, called the Shire, taking its 
rise in Lake Nyassa, is interrupted by rapids at a distance of about 70 
miles, and, after an impassable course of a similar length, flows uninter- 
ruptedly a course of 300 miles to the sea south of Kilimani. A Scottish 
philanthropist, Mr. Stevenson, appears to have taken this affluent into his 
own hands, and by admirable perseverance, aided by the Free Church of 
Scotland, has succeeded in inaugurating a commercial development, now 
prosecuted successfully, I am told, by the African Lakes Trading Com- 
pany of Glasgow. From the Murchison Falls to the northern end of 
Lake Nyassa, a distance of 420 miles, a steamer called the Ilala runs 
periodically. A carriage road, 210 miles in length, has been lately made 
to connect this lake with Lake Tanganika, which will give an additional 
waterway 360 miles long. 

In this growing and promising development in the Shire and JSyassa 
region you see an authentic illustration of what follows geographical 
knowledge and exploration. It is twenty-five years since Livingstone 
and Kirk first ascended the Shire, and discovered the Nyassa. That the 
development has been so tardy is owing entirely to the hostility of the 
Portuguese. It was only after the repeated and persistent efforts of the 
Free Church of Scotland and Mr. James Stevenson, of Glasgow, that a 


commencement could be made. The Court and Government of this 
country were wearied with the diplomatic tactics of the Portuguese, who 
protested and wrote, and presented the usual folios of traditions, and the 
contents of elastic and perennial archives to defraud Livingstone of tne 
honour of the discovery of Lake Nyassa, and retard, if not check out- 
right, all progress and civilisation. In the end, however, the restrictions 
placed by them on the Lower Zambezi were removed, and now it is a free 
river as far as the Shire. The Zambezi River, however, and its entire 
basin — though it is a thousand pities that such things should be — is no 
less an authentic illustration and evidence that no portion of Africa is 
susceptible of civilisation if it be barred by a hostile tariff. 

Fourthly, and finally, we have to consider the Congo and its basin. 
Before we enter this broad domain, let us take an outside view of it, that 
we may consider its external aspect. And to do this properly, let us begin 
at the Cape, and take a mental view of its physical aspects, as we run 
north, along the west coast ; and I may as well tell you in passing that 
the eastern coast is, so far as height is concerned, its counterpart. Be- 
ginning, then, at the Cape, we view a mountain mass called Table 
Mountain, of some 3500 feet, flanked by a massive feature called the 
Lion's Head and Rump. It continues in an irregular line against the 
sky, when seen from the sea ; advancing at certain points into a mountain- 
ous cape or receding inland beyond view, to unite with a range called the 
Bokkeveld Range, then, dipping down into the Olifants Liver and rising 
again into the Karree Range, it runs northward, forming the south- 
western ranges which bound the Orange River basin on that side. Along 
the sea-coast are uplands of 200 or 300 feet above the ocean, pierced by 
various unimportant streams. North of the Orange River we enter 
Great Namaqua Land, extending north to the Portuguese possessions with 
a waterless and sandy coast. A mountainous and apparently valueless 
territory, and with no good harbours, it rises at a considerable distance 
inland into a plateau, which has an elevation of 4000 feet above the 
sea, while some higher peaks attain an altitude of 7000 and 8800 feet. 
North of this land is that of Damara, extending to the Cunene River ; 
all of it, from a distance, presents a most uninviting aspect — not even a 
tree to be seen from Cape Frio to a distance south of the Orange. A low 
terrace along the sea-board is backed by another slightly higher, and be- 
yond the second a third rises into a mountain altitude. 

From the Cunene River northward to the Congo this bareness of the 
coast is slightly improved, but there is nothing approaching to a forest ; 
shrubs, isolated, unhealthy-looking trees, dot a long line of reddish-coloured 
land, of an*average height of between 150 and 300 feet, rising inland into 
a lofty plateau wall, very irregular, deeply indented by gullies, ravines, 
and chasmic depressions. This line of rufous colour takes a bold sweep 
inland, and, running east about seventy miles, begins to rise to a height of 
about 500 feet. A mile farther north is a parallel line of similar altitude, 
and between these opposing lines lies the Congo, a deep and fast-flowing 


river of a dark brown colour. Tiie river's mouth is about seven miles 
wide, with a current of six knots in the centre, and a depth of 1312 feet. 
To your right, as you look up, you see Shark's Point ; to your left, or 
north, you see the sandy spit, known as Banana Point, covered from end 
to end with long, low, white-washed magazines, and four or five white 
flagstaff*, each with a different flag, indicating the nationality of the 
traders who own the mass of long low buildings. 

We have seen sufficient from the outside to suspect that Africa 
generally is a plateau continent of from 1000 to 4000 feet above the sea, 
with a sea-front all around, descending to the sea, either in successive 
terraces or suddenly (as in the neighbourhood of the Cape, or along the 
Red Sea), and rimmed in the main by an irregular mountain line, with a 
descent often rapid and deep seaward, and a gentler, easier, descending 
slope to the river-basins inland. 

The river Congo has a course of 2900 miles from the Chibale Range 
S.S.E. of Lake Tanganika, to Banana Point, on the south-west coast of 
Africa. Close to the twelfth parallel of S. latitude, across eighteen degrees 
of longitude, there runs an elevated ridge of from 6000 to 9000 feet high, 
at one part narrowed into a mountain range, at another expanded into a 
table-land. This is the dividing line between the Zambezi and Comro 
basins. Out of the furrows, recesses, and folds of its slopes issue the 
streams flowing in opposite directions — northward into the Congo, south- 
ward into the Zambezi. Near the parallel of 4° N. latitude you must 
look for the dividing line of the waters of the Bahr-el-Ghazal and Shari, 
which flow north, and of those which flow southward into the Congo. 
Draw a line north and south about the meridian of 16° E. longitude, from 
lat. 4° north to lat. 12° south, and a slightly diagonal line from 4° north 
to 12° south, running from the meridian of 30° east to 32° east, and within 
this vast, compact area you have the basin of the Congo. Its greatest 
length is a line drawn from south-east to north-west, 1400 miles, its 
greatest breadth 1200. The number of English square miles that this 
area contains is 1,300,000. 

How comes such a short-course river as this to send down a volume of 
water such as no other river can excel, except it be the Amazon 1 Be- 
cause it is a true equatorial river — like the South American stream. If 
you take a pair of dividers in hand to measure the length of the Congo on 
some chart of Africa, you will find its length to be 2100 miles. Apply 
the same mode of measurement to the Amazon, you will find it to be only 
2300 miles from its source to the meeting of the salt and fresh waters ; 
apply it to the Mississippi, reported to be 4400 miles long, and you will 
discover that from its issue into the Gulf of Mexico to the extreme source 
of the Missouri it is only 2400; and if the Nile, which is really the 
longest river in the world, be measured in the same manner, it will be 
found to have a length of only 3000 miles. Mere length of river does not 
imply largest volume ; as, for instance, the Nile has a course of about 
1500 miles through an almost rainless country, which does not supply a 


single affluent, and its measured volume does not exceed 600,000 cubic 
feet per second. Three and a half Xiles, or the Mississippi and the 
Nile together, would scarcely equal the Congo's tribute of water to the 

From the folds of the Chibale Mountain group, south of theTanganika 
Lake, the Congo issues into the hollow of the table-land lying between the 
Tanganika and the eastern extremity of the Mushinga range, and, swollen 
by myriads of small streams into a great river, flows westward into an 
oval depression, where it form- a lake called Bangweolo, under the native 
name of Chambezi. At the western extremity of this lake, an arm of it, 
like an estuary, extends north. Thence the river issues under the name 
of Luapula, similar in width to the Thames at London ; and for a hundred 
miles it continues its course northward till it empties into a lake called 
Mwern, covering a superficial area of 2100 square miles. Issuing from 
the northern shore of Mweru, the Luwa, as it is now called, enters a rent 
in the mountain fold of Southern Rua, and descends by a series of falls 
and rapids into a much lower level, whence, by the numerous accessions 
it receives — notably from a lacustrine river called the Lualaba — it flows 
a mighty stream north-north-west, every league of its course receiving 
tributaries from the east and west. From the right enter the Lol'unzo, 
the Luindi, the Luigi, and the Luclama, which the mountain barrier that 
encloses on the western side the lake basin of the Tanganika sends west- 
ward ; and through a gap in this barrier the Tanganika, that has collected 
over a hundred rivers in its capacious bosom, empties its surplus waters 
by the Luindi and the Lukuga, into the broad Lualaba. From the 
left the chain of lakelets — known as the Kowamba, Kahando, Abimbe, 
Ziwambo, and Kassali— after gathering from weeping forests and spongy 
areas, discharge their collected strength into the large ami ample river. 

Now that we understand the course of the Congo — or Lualaba — it is 
not difficult to understand the character of its basin, and the cause of the 
almost unrivalled amplitude of waters discharged by the Congo into the 
sea. On the south, the east, and the west, the three mountain walls, or 
barriers of table-land, discharge their numberless streams into a plain-like 
basin furrowed by the courses of five noble rivers running northward 
in nearly parallel lines with the Lualaba, draining a level 800 miles 
broad. After a course varying from 600 to 1100 miles they issue into 
the Congo in its transverse flow from east and west. Towards the north 
a table-land descends gradually into another level 600 miles broad, and 
200 miles deep, furrowed by four rivers flowing southerly into the wide 
river. On the whole, then, we may compare it to a huge meat dish, nearly 
square, surrounded by a low, broad rim with corners rounded off. It is as 
though, in very ancient times — the days of great inland seas — this capa- 
cious and ample basin formed a great lake three times greater than the 
area of the Caspian Sea. 

Since that period, some volcanic agency, it may be, cracked and sun- 
dered the hilly rim to the west, and the waters flowed through to the 


Atlantic Ocean, and the even bottom of the lake was exposed, which we 
see now to be furrowed by the voluminous affluents — Kwa, Mbihe, Ikel- 
emba, Lulungu, Lubiranzi, Lumami, and Kamolondo — flowing from the 
south to the Congo as it flows westerly. 

At Nyangwe, 1700 miles by river from the sea, and near 1300 miles 
from its source, the river is about a mile wide, with a volume of 230,000 
cubic feet per second. But lower down it receives the Lowwa, the Biyere, 
the Lubiranzi, the Lulungu, and the Kwa, which alone swells this volume 
to a million cubic feet per second. 

From Nyangwe it has a northerly course of four degrees of latitude ; 
when reaching the equator it deflects X.N. AY. to above 2 = N. One degree 
north of the equator— so numerous have been the streams and rivers shed by 
the western versant of its eastern mountain boundary — the Congo widens, 
disparts into ten or twelve channels, and from shore to shore of the main 
river it is as much as sixteen miles in its greatest breadth. With an 
average width of four or five miles it flows direct west for two degrees, 
then S.S.W. across two and a half degrees of longitude, when it gathers 
itself together, and in one united stream, gradually narroAving to a mile 
in width, in depth from fifty to two hundred feet, flows with a strong 
current, in the centre, of about five knots, until it expands again at Stanley 
Pool, which is eighteen geographical miles in length by fourteen miles 
greatest width. At the lower extremity of the Pool, 1147 feet above the 
sea, the navigability of the Congo ceases. It first precipitates itself with 
awful force down a five-mde slope, a succession of leaping waves, which 
from crest to crest might be about 300 feet apart : then by a series of mad 
rapids, separated by short stretches of swift but steady flows, for seventy- 
seven miles, all of it confined by the towering rock barriers of a deep 
canon from 300 to 600 feet below the level of the opposing summits of 
the cleft land ; then for eighty-eight miles tolerably safe to navigation, 
followed by another sixty miles' rush of a distracted river, with roaring 
cataracts alternating with noisy rapids, through the deep, rocky heart of 
the grim and solemn-looking hills, until, finally, the last plunge has been 
made down the Yellala Falls. A few miles lower down it issues out of 
the sinuous and rocky gullet a navigable and useful river for 110 miles ; 
flows by factories and villages and townships, to be presently vexed by the 
churning screws of ocean steamers and panting tug-boats. 

Seven years ago the character of this basin and utility of the river 
were made known for the first time. The geographical knowledge then 
acquired cost about £12,000 in English money, and the lives of 173 men. 
It was given to the world freely in about twelve numbers of the Daily 
Telegraph and the New York Herald, each costing about one penny, and 
afterwards in book form with maps and pictures illustrating the geography 
and life of the peoples. Then I came to you, and in this and similar 
cities I personally expounded to you the possibilities that might accrue 
were the prospects held out to you reflected upon intelligently. You 
rejected the notions, condemned them as altogether crude and unworthy 


of acceptance by practical men. An Association, headed by the King of 
the Belgians, invited me to Brussels, and there I was eagerly accepted 
after many protracted discussions, and it was proposed to me to return to 
this region and show what I could do with it, and discover what further 
could be learned. 

And this is what we have acquired of further information. From the 
mouth of the Congo a steamer drawing fifteen feet can steam up 110 
miles, and opposite to this spot, on both sides of the river, we have built 
stations — that on the north or right bank being the principal. Hence we 
take a land journey of fifty-two miles, where we have constructed another 
station. We then take boats, and steam or row up eighty-eight miles to 
a point opposite which there are stations constructed on each side of the 
river. "We now make a land journe}' of ninety-five miles, and reach a 
place lately built, called by us Leopoldville, whence we can steam up 1060 
English miles. The large affluents enable us to steam a distance of 2000 
miles more, and by a short road past Stanley Falls we could proceed 
further up the river 350 miles, and a portage of two miles would give us 
650 miles. Another short portage, past the cataracts of one of the main 
affluents, would give us another navigable length of 1100 miles. Along 
the main river we have constructed thirteen stations in the most likely 
places and amid peaceful tribes, with whom we are on terms of familiar 
intercourse, and who have welcomed us as brothers. To us the river has 
become as familiar as the Mississippi is to its navigators. The banks and 
its peoples are well known. The great basin now lies mentally mapped 
out ; it has lost its mystery, and, deprived of its power to awe, to us it 
is no longer a region of fable and myth. We can gauge its powers of pro- 
ductivity and its value, and we are disposed to attract the world to it by 
connecting the upper river with the lower river by a railway, over which 
commercial men may travel with their barter goods with ease and safety, 
which will quite obviate the necessity of looking at it as an inaccessible 
region and daunting those disposed to enterprise — provided, of course, 
that no insane jealousy thwart the project. 

If you are wise you will not quarrel with us for entertaining such a 
project, nor look askance at it, but encourage and rather co-operate with 
us ; for to you, as to others, it appears to me to be fruitful of advantages. 
We have no concern in it further than to see a region so long neglected 
brought within the fold of the civilised world. Our satisfaction will be 
in witnessing its growth and watching it mature into usefulness. Long 
have you and I gazed upon that white blank in the old maps ; long have 
we wondered what it contained. And now we are satisfied that the 
region is of unexampled fertility, watered by mighty rivers, which have 
their perennial sources in deep, woody recesses on the flanks of the 
mountain barriers which ring the region round about. We know that wide 
plains, growing pasture fit for cattle, separate these rivers; and vast 
spaces, fit for thrifty and industrious colonists, promise rewards to those 
who seek them. The river-marges show wide belts of forest ; in their deep 


frondent shade clusters of villages lie nestled, and close by are the 
prolific gardens and fields, blessing the careless, happy people with a 
profuse abundance. Here and there, like islets in the rich expanse, rise 
the grove-clad hills with who knows what store of fossil gum on the 
surface, and useful minerals in their bosoms. And through all, in easy 
sinuosities, wind the native foot-wide paths, dipping into dell and dingle 
and lovely twilight, and anon rising from the cool shade of tropical 
umbrage into the glare and view of far-reaching plains, where you see on 
the verge of the horizon the smoke denoting the distant village. 

Nor are spacious lakes wanting, with their broad expanses lightened 
by brightest sunshine, to diversify this extensive prospect of tropic land. 
Within its confines lie Tanganika, with 9300 square miles, Bangweolo 
-with 8800 square miles, Mweru, Kasali, Leopold, Mantumba, Mute 
Xzige, and two or three others reported to exist, but not yet explored ; 
a known area of lake waters approaching 30,000 square miles in extent — 
which may be increased to over 40,000 square miles after more definite 
knowledge of them has been obtained. Consider how these may in the 
coming years be rendered useful to the laden steamboat of commerce, and 
the swift screw-launch bearing to each shore of their waters the gospel 
of peaceful intercourse between vari-coloured peoples. 

I dare say that by this time you have some notion how I should wish 
this newly-constituted Society to take up the study of Geography — not 
as a science to be relegated to your sedentary hours, but as a science 
brimful of interest to you as living men with warm sympathetic hearts, 
desirous of increasing your fellowship with humanity in general ; as a 
science replete with lessons of practical wisdom ; as a science which may 
best be called the admonitor to commerce ; as a science wherein there is 
nothing barren or sterile to any man with eyes to see and ears to hear ; 
as a science which points with commonest inductions to those fields 
wherein manly effort is needed, and those paths which commerce ought 
to follow; as a science which delimits the valuable heritages to which ail 
the sons of Adam are born, and directs willing hearts to profitable labour. 
It is your duty as children of a foremost nation, nourished to ample 
grandeur by a wise, thoughtful, and earnest ancestry, to know the extent 
of those toil-won conquests achieved by your sires, and to know how to 
prepare the minds of your own descendants to wear their honours nobly, 
and, if possible, to add to them. If exploration adds a newer field, a larger 
extension to your knowledge of the surface of the earth, you should 
endeavour to devise and study of what further use it is to you and other 
nations. Avoid the cant of senility, and the babbling of confessed 
impotence which tells you that you have done enough, that you are by 
far too rich, that your estates are by far too many already ; such talk be- 
longs to a people smitten with paralysis and bedridden with old age. 
AVherever I look around me in this country I see no signs of that among 
you. I see you creating new machinery, and building new ships, and 
laying the foundations of new cities ; there is weaving and mining, delving 


and hammering, going on from morning till night in every corner of the 
kingdom. You are building new schools and moulding young heroes 
without pause, and prosperity and good fortune seem to have blessed 
you. Therefore gather yourselves together into Geographical Societies to 
impart the knowledge of the science more widely, that it may quicken 
energy and inspire enterprise. The study of Geography ought to lead to 
something higher than collecting maps and books of travel, and afterwards 
shelving them as of no further use. I should like to see the maps in 
men's hands to be studied as generals study them before planning 
campaigns. I should like to see the manufacturer or merchant study 
them with the view of planning commercial campaigns, the man of capital 
pondering over them like one who intends constructing a railroad across 
a country, or a military engineer designing defensive works. 

Had your Government, some months ago, followed such advice as I 
have given you to-day, there had never been a treaty made to close the 
Congo basin, and you would never have needed me to tell you how 
monstrous the Portuguese claims were. 

The Royal Geographical Society of London has long done excellent 
work, all will admit : as soon as an explorer has brought home, and 
submitted to it his budget of geographical facts, it has been forward to 
recognise their value without regard to his nationality ; it has been a fit 
centre of effort to pierce the mystery of unknown Africa, and all that 
we know of the old continent may be attributed to its influence and 
continuous exertions to excite interest in geography. But at this stage 
of progress it is time that the study of geography should be taken up by 
the large cities which profit by it, in order that it should not only con- 
tribute to the natural thirst for knowledge, but that, like other studies, it 
should bear fruit. 


"Scottish energy and enterprise have sent Scotsmen to all countries of 
the world as pioneers of discovery, as founders of thriving colonies, as 
successful merchants and traders, and as useful missionaries and philan- 

"Scotland has produced many world-famed scientific men, travellers, 
geographers, and cartographers. " 

These sentences are quoted from the Prospectus of the Scottish Geo- 
graphical Society. The statements are strong, even boastful, in their 
character. Can they be made good 1 

Their accuracy has not been called in question ; but an inference has 
been drawn from them, in some quarters, directly the reverse of the con- 
VOL. i. B 


elusion which they were intended to support. It has been said that as 
Scotland has done so much for exploration, colonisation, and the science 
of geography without a Geographical Society, a Scottish Geographical 
Society is wholly unnecessary. 

That the objection has not had much force may be held to have been 
proved by the remarkable success which the new Society has already 
achieved. It is not yet three months old, and already its membership 
numbers 800, and includes all grades of society — noblemen and country 
gentlemen, men of science and men of letters, professors and school- 
masters, merchants and shippers, clergymen, lawyers, and physicians; and 
women as well as men. Nothing else, surely, is needed in order to prove 
that the Society has met a felt want, and that the opportunity of wiping 
out a reproach to Scotland has been eagerly seized by all classes of the 

The objection, however, admits of another answer. If the voluntary, 
unaided, and undirected efforts of Scotsmen have done so much in the 
past, much greater achievements may surely be expected in the future 
from exertions which will be well regulated and judiciously encouraged. 
The truth is that Scottish explorers and Scottish geographers have hitherto 
been working under tremendous disadvantages. They have received no 
properly organised assistance from their own country, and they have had 
to contend with the greatest discouragements, the chief of which have 
sprung from the ignorance and consequent indifference of their fellow- 
countrymen. It is not too much to hope that, with the formation of the 
Scottish Geographical Society these natural hindrances will disappear, and 
that henceforth the efforts of Scots abroad will be materially aided and 
encouraged by the support of Scots at home. 

It is worth while, nevertheless, to answer the question : — What have 
Scotsmen done for geographical exploration, and for scientific geography 1 

The maritime adventure of the Scottish nation dates from the close of 
the fifteenth century, when King James the Fourth laid the foundation of 
the Scottish navy, and sent forth stout Sir Andrew Barton in the Great 
Michael, the largest ship then known in the world, to scour the northern 
seas. Another famous Scottish admiral of those days was Sir Andrew 
Wood of Largo, in whose ships, the Flower and the Yellow Carvel, King 
James himself often made adventurous voyages. The Scottish navy 
of those days was quite a match for that of England, and a stiff sea-fight 
in the Downs, in which Barton was killed, and his flag-ship, the Lion, was 
captured, was one of the causes of the quarrel which ended so disastrously 
for Scotland on the field of Flodden. 

The record of successful Scottish colonisation begins with the early 
part of the seventeenth century. In 1624 King James the Sixth and 
First granted to the Right Hon. Sir William Alexander, gentleman-usher 
to his son Prince Charles, a concession of Cape Breton and the adjoining 
peninsula of Acadia, and all the lands between the Bay of Fundy and the 
river St. Lawrence. Sir William was a Scottish knight, and ultimately 


became Earl of Stirling and Viscount Canada, in the peerage of Scotland. 
He was an intimate friend of Drummond of Hawthornden, and was him- 
self a bit of a poet. His lively imagination, coming to the help of his 
patriotism, suggested the idea of founding a new fatherland on the other 
side of the Atlantic. He had heard of a New England, a New France, 
and a New Spain. Why should there not also be a New Scotland? 
Hence Nova Scotia was the name which the new settlement was to I)ear. 
Alexander sent out a squadron freighted with Scotsmen to take possession 
of the country. He divided it into two provinces — Caledonia and Alex- 
andria. The river forming part of the boundary between New Scotland 
and New England — it was only four years after the migration of the Pilgrim 
Fathers — was called St. Croix by the French, but Alexander must needs 
call it the Tweed. The river St. Jean in like manner became in his 
fancy the Clyde, and the Gaspe Peninsula appeared as Argyll. It was 
no wonder, surely, that King Charles, in the year of his accession, con- 
firmed his father's grant to this patriotic Scot, and established the order 
of Knights-baronets of Nova Scotia as a means of inducing capitalists 
at home to send out settlers to the new country. 

"We hear very little more of Scottish maritime enterprise till we come 
to the records of the ill-starred Darien Scheme, at the close of the seven- 
teenth century. It was not the fault of the Scotsmen who took part in that 
adventure that it resulted in abject failure. Even in the face of disaster, 
brought about by the jealousy of the English and Dutch trading com- 
panies, the Darien expedition affords splendid testimony to the enterprise 
and courage and endurance of Scotsmen, who sacrificed hundreds of lives 
and half a million of money before they would admit their discomfiture. 

Towards the close of the next century we find another Scotsman 
stamping his name on the far north of the American continent. This was 
Sir Alexander Mackenzie, the first European who ever crossed North 
America from ocean to ocean. In 1789 he made his way from Fort 
Chipewayan along the shores of the Great Slave Lake, discovered by John 
Hearn eighteen years before, to the great river, since known as the 
Mackenzie River, which flows into the Arctic Sea. Three years later he 
undertook his memorable overland journey. Pushing his way up the 
Peace River and across the Rocky Mountains, he emerged on the table- 
land of British Columbia and the valley of the river Fraser, and at length 
reached the Pacific coast at a point opposite Vancouver Island, where, on a 
stupendous rock facing the Georgian Gulf, he inscribed in bright ver- 
milion the record of his exploit in these modest words : — " A. Mackenzie, 
arrived from Canada, 22d July 1792." The record soon disappeared, 
but the fame of the intrepid pioneer will last as long as the continent 
which he explored. 

In 1808 the chief river of British Columbia was explored through the 
greater part of its course by another Scot, Simon Fraser, whose name it now 
bears. Its basin has become famous as a gold-bearing region, and that is 
another triumph which must be put to the credit of Scottish explorers. 


The earliest settlement in the great North- West was on the Red River, 
in the very heart of the continent, in the middle of what is now the 
Prairie Province of Manitoba. Here also a Scotsman was the pioneer. 
In 1811 the Earl of Selkirk purchased from the Hudson Bay Company a 
large tract of country along the courses of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers. 
He sent out a party of Scotsmen as pioneers, who were afterwards joined 
by some Norwegians and French Canadians. The colony was known 
sometimes as Red River, sometimes as Selkirk, Settlement. The failure of 
their first crops exposed the settlers to great privations, and the attacks 
of prowling Indians increased their peril ; but, being for the most part 
robust and active Highlanders, they persevered and endured ; and, the 
soil proving wonderfully fertile, they triumphed in the end. Manitoba is 
now one of the most prosperous provinces in the Dominion. It is a 
favourite resort of Scottish emigrants, and especially of Hebridean High- 
landers, few of whom probably are aware of the historic ground on 
which it may be claimed as a Scottish colony. 

We pass, by an easy and natural transition, from the exploration of the 
continent of North America to that of the Arctic regions. There also we 
find Scotsmen taking a foremost place. Sir John Richardson, the friend 
and companion of Franklin in his early voyages, was a native of Dumfries, 
and an Edinburgh medical student. He began his career as an assistant 
surgeon in the navy. He accompanied Franklin in his Arctic voyages of 
1819 and 1825, in the latter of which he explored the coast between the 
mouths of the Coppermine and Mackenzie Rivers ; and his last voyage 
was made in a search expedition for Franklin in 1848. Sir John Ross 
was a son of the parish minister of Inch in Wigtownshire. He spent four 
winters (1829-33) in the Arctic regions, and made in the course of them 
important discoveries ; and his last service was in connection with a 
Franklin search expedition in 1850. His nephew, Sir James Clark Ross, 
who also took part in the search for Franklin, was of Scottish family, 
though born in London. His most valuable contributions to geographical 
and physical science were made in the course of his memorable expedition 
to the Antarctic Ocean with the Erebus and the Terror (1839-43), when 
he discovered Victoria Land and the great volcano to which the name 
Mount Erebus was given. 

No account of the physical aspect of the American continent would be 
complete which did not recognise the value of the labours of Alexander 
Wilson, the ornithologist ; and Wilson was a native of Paisley. 

If we turn now to Africa, we find that Scotsmen have borne the 
greatest and the foremost share in the work of letting in light on "the 
dark continent." First in the long list of explorers and philanthropists 
comes the name of James Bruce, the Abyssinian traveller ; and James 
Bruce was a Scottish laird. He was born at Kinnaird House, Stirling- 
shire, in 1730, and he died at the same place in 1794, and was buried in 
Larbert Churchyard. From 1762 till 1765 he was British Consul at 
Algiers, and during these years he explored the interior of Barbary. In 


1767 and 1768 he was located in Syria, when he penetrated the Syrian 
desert, and succeeded in reaching Palmyra and Baalbec. Then followed 
his travels in Egypt and Abyssinia, on which his fame chiefly rests, though, 
as has been the case with other travellers, at first his account of his 
achievements was received with distrust, and even with ridicule. 

In the Travels in the Footsteps of Bruce of Lieut. -Col. Playfair, British 
Consul-General at Algiers, many of the traveller's statements were verified, 
and some of his original drawings were reproduced. Colonel Playfair is 
himself a Scotsman who has added materially to our knowledge of Algeria 
and its people. 

Next in order of time comes Mungo Park, the discoverer of the Niger; 
and he too was a thorough-bred Scot. He was born at Foulshiels near 
Selkirk, and in that Border town his statue testifies to this day to the 
pride of his countrymen in his short but eventful career. Like Richard- 
son, he began life as a naval surgeon. He was but twenty-four years of 
age when he first explored the basin of the Upper Niger j and he was 
only thirty-four when, in his second expedition, he forfeited his life to his 
geographical zeal at Bussa. 

Bruce and Park had worthy successors in Major Dixon Denham and 
Captain Hugh Clapperton, who together crossed the Sahara in 1822 from 
Tripoli to Bornu. Clapperton, who afterwards penetrated as far as 
Sokoto, was a Scotsman, having been born at Annan. The brothers 
Lander, who explored the course of the Lower Niger, were not Scotsmen, 
but Macgregor Laird, who, along with Mr. Oldfield, published the narra- 
tive of Richard Lander's unfortunate expedition, and who helped to 
explore the mouth of the great river, was certainly a Scot, as both parts 
of his name sufficiently testify. Hope "Waddell, a Scottish missionary, spent 
nearly the whole of a long and useful life at Old Calabar, in the neigh- 
bourhood of the Cameroons Mountain, and made valuable additions to our 
knowledge of the country and the people in that little-known region. 

If we pass to South Africa we find that we are indebted to Scotsmen 
for our earliest knowledge of the interior of the country north of the 
Orange River. One was an Edinburgh man, the Rev. John Campbell of 
Kingsland, London. He was sent out in 1812, by the London Missionary 
Society, to visit their stations in South Africa, and on his return in 1814 
he published his Travels, of which there was a second edition in 1815. 
He was sent on a similar mission in 1818-21, and published again in 
1822. Another was Sir James Alexander, whose narrative of a year's 
journeyings in the interior of South Africa was published in 1838. In 
1816, the year after Campbell published his first book, Robert Moffat, the 
hero of the desert, had taken up his abode in the same region, which was 
for fifty years the scene of his missionary and philanthropic labours. He 
published his Missionary Labours and Scenes in Southern Africa in 1840, 
and he summed up his life work in a memorable speech in the Free 
Church Assembly of 1877. 

It was at Kuruman, Dr. Moffat's station, that David Livingstone, the 


prince of African travellers, served his apprenticeship as a missionary and 
explorer. Livingstone became Moffat's son-in-law, and thus served him- 
self heir to his fame, which he was destined to transcend even during the 
lifetime of the patriarch. It was from Kuruman that Livingstone started 
on his first expeditions, when he crossed the Kalahari Desert and dis- 
covered first Lake Ngami, and afterwards the Upper Zambesi and the 
Victoria Falls. Livingstone's title to be considered the greatest of African 
travellers rests on the wonderful extent of ground that he covered, and 
on the practical value of his discoveries. He explored the Zambesi 
almost from its source to its mouth. He discovered Lake Nyassa, Lake 
Tanganyika, Lake Bangweolo, and the Lualaba River, which proves to be 
the Upper Congo ; and thus he led the way to the discoveries of Cameron 
and Stanley, which have promoted the Congo to the first rank among the 
great rivers of Africa. Any one who desires to know what David Living- 
stone did for geographical exploration in Africa has only to compare a 
map of 1840, the year in which he began his labours, with a map of 
1873, the year in which he died at Ilala. In place of a desert there is a 
fruitful field ; in place of a wide tract labelled " Unknown," there is an 
array of lakes, rivers, and fertile valleys which it is marvellous to 

Among the direct successors of Livingstone, Scotsmen take high 
rank. Young Keith Johnston, the son of the famous Scottish carto- 
grapher, deserves a foremost place, because he sacrificed his life in the 
work of exploration. Next to him comes his companion-in-arms, Joseph 
Thomson, a native of Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, who scaled the heights of 
Kilima-Njaro, and brought to proof the pretensions of the fabulous 
Mountains of the Moon. The flourishing colony of Livingstonia, at the 
south end of Lake Nyassa, is distinctly a Scottish colony ; and the leading 
spirits in that adventure have been Scotsmen — the brothers Moir, sons of 
Dr. Moir of Edinburgh, who have not only connected the Lake Nyassa 
basin with the Zambesi, but have also established a practicable trade 
route between Lake Nyassa and Lake Tanganyika. 

Blantyre, another missionary colony in the same region, between Lake 
Shirwa and the river Shire, is also a Scottish settlement, as is testified in 
the fact that it was named after the birthplace of David Livingstone. 
The Blantyre Mission is directly under the charge of the Church of 
Scotland. The mission of the English Universities, carried on in the 
same region during Livingstone's lifetime, was organised by Bishop 
Mackenzie, and Bishop Mackenzie was a Scotsman. The Free Church of 
Scotland has a similar missionary settlement at Lovedale in Kaffirland, 
which was organised and is carried on by Scotsmen. 

Scotsmen have also had their share in solving the perennial problem 
of the Nile. James Augustus Grant, who, along with Speke, discovered 
the Victoria Nyanza in 1864, was born at Nairn. 

If we turn to Australia, we encounter another array of Scotsmen. 
John M'Douall Stuart, who was the first man to cross the Australian con- 


tinent from south to north, was a Scotsman. Sir Thomas Livingstone 
Mitchell, who explored Australia Felix, and traced the course of the Eed 
Kiver and the Darling River, was a native of Stirlingshire. Captain 
Grant who explored the coast of Victoria in 1800, Lieutenant Murray 
who discovered Port Philip in 1802, and Mr. Cunningham, the botanist, 
who accompanied Oxley and Evans in their expedition down the Lachlan 
River in 1816, were all Scotsmen. Sir Thomas Makdougall Brisbane, 
who, as Governor of Xew South "Wales, did so much to encourage explora- 
tion and scientific research, especially in the departments of botany and 
astronomy, was a native of Ayrshire, and an Ayrshire landlord. The 
influence of Scotsmen in Australia is further indicated by the occurrence 
of such names as Perth, Brisbane, and Murray. 

In the same way, Scotsmen have left their mark on the geography of 
New Zealand. Otago was first colonised by emigrants belonging to the 
Free Church of Scotland. Even if this were not a well-known fact, the 
Scottish origin of the province might be inferred from its oldest settle- 
ment being Invercargill, and from its capital being called Dunedin, which 
has its High Street, its Princes Street, and its Queen's Drive, just as 
Edinburgh, its prototype, has. 

In like manner, we may trace the guiding hand of Scotsmen in Tas- 
mania in the geographical nomenclature, in its Ben Lomond, its river 
Forth, and its North and South Esk. 

If we pass now to the wide and varied field of exploration in Asia, we 
meet with a similar result. One of the earliest adventurers in this field 
was John Bell of Antermony, a Scottish physician, who was for many 
years attached to the court of the Czar of Russia. Between 1715 and 
1722 he accompanied Russian expeditions to Persia and to China — the 
latter by way of Siberia and the deserts of Tartary. He also went with 
Peter the Great on his expedition to the Pass of Derbent in the east of 
the Caucasus, and he wrote Trued* in Ado, abounding with interesting 
and amusing information. In 1815, Mountstuart Elphinstone, another 
Scot — a son of the eleventh Baron Elphinstone, and a native of Edin- 
burgh — published his account of the Cabool kingdom. James Baillie 
Fraser, of Rulick, explored the snowy range of the Himalayas in 1825-26. 
Ten years later he made a winter journey on horseback from the eastern 
shore of the Bosporus to Teheran. Another Scotsman, whose name is 
indelibly written on the record of exploration in Persia and Afghanistan, 
is Sir Alexander Burnes, who was born in Montrose. In 1831 he was 
sent on a peaceful mission to Lahore, in the course of which he made 
extensive and important investigations. In subsequent years Burnes 
travelled in Afghanistan, and crossed the Hindu-Kush Mountains to 
Persia and Bokhara. The account of his explorations was given to the 
Avorld in 1834. His great work on Cabool was published in 1842, the 
year after his perfidious murder at the Afghan capital. One of the 
earliest explorers of Tibet was George Bogle, a Scotsman, sent there 
on a special mission by "Warren Hastings in 1774. John "Wilson, of 


Bombay, the famous missionary, the friend of Livingstone, and author 
of Cave Temples of India, and Religious Excavations of Western India, was 
a Scotsman — a native of Lauder. His son, Andrew Wilson, made a long 
and perilous journey through the Upper Himalayas, an account of which 
he wrote, under the title of The Abode of Snow. 

Turning to the east of Asia, we find there also traces of Scottish foot- 
steps in Lieutenant Alexander Murray's Doings in China; in the Wander- 
ings in China of Eobert Fortune, the botanist — a book abounding with 
valuable information regarding the social state and habits of the Chinese ; 
in J. F. Campbell's Circular Notes about Japan and the Japanese; and, 
most famous of all, in Captain Basil Hall's Voyage of Discovery to the West 
Coast of Corea and the Great Loo Choo Islands. Basil Hall came of a well- 
known Scottish family, being a son of Sir James Hall of Dunglass. Another 
account of the same voyage was written by Mr. Macleod, surgeon of the 
Alccste ; and he also was a Scot. Excellent work has also been done in 
Burmah by Scotsmen, among whom may be mentioned Colonel Yule, one 
of the Vice-Presidents of the Scottish Geographical Society, and Dr. 
Anderson, author of Mandalay to Moulmein. Mr. A. R. Colquhoun has 
shown in Across Chryse — a record of travel in the border lands of China, 
Burmah, and Tonquin — how largely the spirit of adventure and of inquisi- 
tiveness survives in Scotsmen of the present day. 

The list of Scotsmen who have increased our knowledge of European 
countries would occupy too much space. Brief mention may, however, be 
made of Joseph Forsyth, whose Italy is still a standard work ; of Henry 
David Inglis (Derwent Conway), who travelled in Norway, Sweden, and 
Denmark, as well as in the south of Europe, early in the present century ; 
of Robert Bremner's Excursions in the interior of Russia and in Scandi- 
navia ; of Samuel Laing's Residence in Norway : of the famous works on 
Greece — partly historical, partly descriptive — by George Finlay and 
Colonel Mure of Caldwell. It has been pointed out, as a remarkable cir- 
cumstance, that the best description of the topography of the Plain of 
Troy was written by a man who never visited the scene. That was 
Charles Maclaren, a well-known Scottish geologist and political economist, 
and an Edinburgh journalist. 

The most important contributions to our knowledge of the physical 
geography of the sea have also been made by Scotsmen in more recent times. 
The man who worked hardest, and who achieved the greatest results, in this 
interesting region was Sir Charles Wyville Thomson, of Edinburgh Univer- 
sity; and he was a native of Linlithgowshire. His researches in the 
Lightning and the Porcupine strengthened bis belief that animal life existed 
at great depths ; but that and other matters of interest were put beyond 
reach of doubt by the results of the famous Challenger voyage, of which he 
was the chief. That expedition, in which other Scotsmen took a pro- 
minent part, not only revealed forms of animal life previously unknown, 
but added immensely to our knowledge of the physical character of the 
great oceans. 


A brief reference must suffice to what Scotland has done for geo- 
graphical literature and cartography. The Physical Geography of Mrs. 
Mary Somerville was the earliest systematic exposition of the subject in 
the English language, and the authoress was a Scotchwoman, a native of 
Roxburghshire — daughter of Vice- Admiral Sir William Fairfax, of Camper- 
down fame. The best modern works on the same subject have been 
written by Scotsmen — Professor Archibald Geikie, Keith Johnston, junior, 
and Professor John Cleland, of Glasgow. Keith Johnston also found 
time, in the intervals of his active labours as an explorer, to produce an 
admirable historical, physical, descriptive, and political Geography of the 
World, and the volume on Africa, in Stanford's series of Geographical Com- 
pendiums. Note must be taken, in this connection, of the valuable service 
done to geography, on its physical side, by Sir Roderick Murchison, not 
only by his geological researches and writings, and by the part he took in 
founding the Royal Geographical Society of London, but also by his 
endowment of the Chair of Geology in the University of Edinburgh. Nor 
should we forget the splendid geological work of Hugh Miller, in whose 
writings science and literature were wedded as they had never been before,, 
The Edinburgh Cabinet Library, begun in 1830, is a valuable storehouse of 
geographical and historical knowledge. Many of the volumes were written 
by Scotsmen, James Baillie Fraser of Rulick contributing the accounts of 
Mesopotamia and Assyria. Hugh Murray, the historian of British India, 
which included an excellent sketch of the natural features of the country, 
was a native of North Berwick. He was also the author of an Encyclo- 
paedia of Geography. The most complete work of that kind, however, is 
Keith Johnston's Gazetteer of Geography. Keith Johnston devoted a 
long and laborious life to the diffusion of geographical knowledge, and he 
made Edinburgh famous as a centre for the production of accurate and 
artistic maps ami atlases. It is, I believe, a mere matter of fact, capable 
of statistical proof, that one-half of all the maps produced in the world at 
the present day are prepared and printed in Edinburgh, the houses of 
Johnston and Bartholomew taking the lead. The most valuable store- 
houses of fact in the region of geography are the standard encyclopaedias ; 
and the standard encyclopaedias are Scottish productions. Foremost in 
the list is the Encyclopedia Britannka, a work of world-wide repute, which 
is entirely the outcome of Scottish energy and enterprise. Next to it, and 
more popular in character, are Chambers's Encyclopaedia, and The Globe 
Encyclopaedia, in both of which geography has a prominent place. Of 
older date are the Edinburgh Encyclopaedia and the Encyclopedia Metro- 
politana — the latter the production of a Glasgow house. It is only neces- 
sary to add that Scotland has produced some of the best text-books of 
general geography in common use, in order to warrant the statement that 
there is no department of geographical work in which Scotsmen have not 
taken a prominent and honourable share. 


By Professor James Geikie, LL.D., F.R.S., etc. 

Scotland, like "all Gaul," is divided into three parts, namely, the 
Highlands, the Central Lowlands, and the Southern Uplands. These, as 
a correctly drawn map will show, are natural divisions, for they are in 
accordance not only with the actual configuration of the surface, but with 
the geological structure of the country. The boundaries of these principal 
districts are well defined. Thus, an approximately straight or gently 
undulating line taken from Stonehaven, in a south-west direction, along the 
northern outskirts of Strathmore to Glen Artney, and thence through the 
lower reaches of Loch Lomond to the Firth of Clyde at Kilcreggan, marks 
out with precision the southern limits of the Highland area and the 
northern boundary of the Central Lowlands. The line that separates the 
Central Lowlands from the Southern Uplands is hardly so prominently 
marked throughout its entire course, but it follows precisely the same 
north-east and south-west trend, and may be traced from Dunbar along 
the base of the Lammermoor and Moorfoot Hills, the Lowthers, and the 
hills of Galloway and Carrick to Girvan. In each of the two mountain- 
tracts — the Highlands and the Southern Uplands — areas of low-lying land 
occur, while in the intermediate Central Lowlands isolated prominences 
and certain well-defined belts of hilly ground make their appearance. 
The statement, so frequently repeated in class-books and manuals of 
geography, that the mountains of Scotland consist of three (some writers 
say five) " ranges " is erroneous and misleading. The original author of this 
strange statement probably derived his ignorance of the physical features 
of the country from a study of those antiquated maps upon which the 
mountains of poor Scotland are represented as sprawling and wriggling 
about like so many inebriated centipedes and convulsed caterpillars. 
Properly speaking, there is not a true mountain-range in the country. If 
we take this term, which has been very loosely used, to signify a linear 
belt of mountains — that is, an elevated ridge notched by cols or "passes" 
and traversed by transverse valleys — then in place of " three " or " five " 
such ranges we might just as well enumerate fifty or sixty, or more, in the 
Highlands and Southern Uplands. Or, should any number of such 
dominant ridges be included under the term "mountain-range," there 
seems no reason why all the mountains of the country should not be 
massed under one head and styled the " Scottish Range." When the 
geologist sees such a motley assemblage of heights as Goat Fell, the 
Lowthers, the Cheviots, the Pentlands, and the Lammermoors grouped 
together as a "range," as they are in some school-books, he maybe 
excused for protesting warmly against such a preposterous travesty of 
nature. A mountain-range, properly so called, is a belt of high ground 
which has been ridged up by earth-movements. It is a fold, pucker, or 
wrinkle in the earth's crust, and its general external form coincides more 


or less closely with the structure or arrangement of the rock-masses of 
which it is composed. A mountain-range of this characteristic type, 
however, seldom occurs singly, hut is usually associated with other 
parallel ranges of the same kind — the whole forming together what is 
called a " mountain-chain," of which the Alps may be taken as an 
example. That chain consists of a vast succession of various kinds of 
rocks which at one time were disjwsed in horizontal layers or strata. But 
during subsequent earth-movements those horizontal beds were compressed 
laterally, squeezed, crumpled, contorted, and thrown, as it were, into 
gigantic undulations and sharper folds and plications. And, notwith- 
standing the enormous erosion or denudation to which the long parallel 
ridges or ranges have been subjected, we can yet see that the general 
contour of these corresponds in large measure to the plications or 
foldings of the strata. The long parallel ranges and intermediate hollows 
of the Jura, for example, are formed by undulations of the folded strata — 
the tops of the long hills coinciding more or less closely with the arches, 
and the intervening hollows with the troughs. Now folded, crumpled, 
and contorted rock-masses are common enough in the mountainous parts 
of Scotland, but the configuration of the surface rarely or never coincides 
with the inclination of the underlying strata. The mountain-crests, so far 
from being formed by the tops of great folds of the strata, very often show 
precisely the opposite kind of structure. In other words, the rocks, instead 
of being inclined away from the hill-tops like the roof of a house from its 
central ridge, frequently dip into the mountains. That is to say, the 
mountains are often built up of a series of strata arranged like a pile of 
saucers, one within another. 

There is yet another feature which brings out clearly the fact that the 
slopes of the surface have not been determined by the inclination of the 
strata. The main water-parting that separates the drainage-system of the 
west from that of the east of Scotland does not coincide with any axis of 
elevation. It is not formed by an anticlinal fold or "saddleback." In 
point of fact it traverses the strata at all angles to their inclination. But 
this would not have been the case had the Scottish mountains consisted of 
a chain of true mountain-ranges. Our mountains, therefore, are merely 
monuments of denudation, they are the relics of elevated plateaux which 
have been deeply furrowed and trenched by running water and other 
agents of erosion. A short sketch of the leading features presented by 
the three divisions of the country will serve to make this plain. 

The Highlands. — The southern boundary of this, the most extensive 
of the three divisions, has already been defined. The straightness of that 
boundary is due to the fact that it coincides with a great line of fracture 
of the earth's crust — on the north or Highland side of which occur slates, 
schists, and various other hard and tough rocks, while on the south side 
the prevailing strata are sandstones, etc., which are not of so durable a 
character. The latter, in consequence of the comparative ease with which 
they yield to the attacks of the eroding agents — rain and rivers, frost and 


ice — have been worn away to a greater extent than the former, and hence 
the Highlands, along their southern margin, abut more or less abruptly 
upon the Lowlands. Looking across Strathmore from the Sidlaws or 
the Ochils, the mountains seem to spring suddenly from the low grounds 
at their base, and to -extend north-east and south-west, as a great wall-like 
rampart. The whole area north and west of this line may be said to be 
mountainous, its average elevation being probably not less than 1500 feet 
above the sea. 

A glance at the accompanying orographical map of Scotland, reduced 
by Mr. Bartholomew from the contoured sheets of the Ordnance Survey, 
and therefore affording a correct view of the physical relief of the country, 
will show better than any verbal description the manner in which our 
Highland mountains are grouped. It will be at once seen that to apply 
the term " range " to any particular area of those high grounds is simply a 
misuse of terms. Not only are the mountains not formed by plications 
and folds, but they do not even trend in linear directions. It is true that 
a well-trained eye can detect certain differences in the form and often in 
the colouring of the mountains when these are traversed from south-east to 
north-west. Such differences correspond to changes in the composition 
and structure of the rock-masses, which are disposed or arranged in a 
series of broad belts and narrower bands, running from south-west to 
north-east across the whole breadth of the Highlands. Each particular 
kind of rock gives rise to a special configuration or to certain characteristic 
features. Thus, the mountains that occur within a belt of slate often show 
a sharply cut outline, with more or less pointed peaks and somewhat 
serrated ridges — the Aberuchill Hills, near Comrie, are an example. In 
the regions of gneiss and granite the mountains are usually rounded and 
lumpy in form. Amongst the schists, again, the outlines are generally 
more angular. Quartz-rock often shows peaked and jagged outlines ; 
while each variety of rock has its own particular colour, and this in cer- 
tain states of the atmosphere is very marked. The mode in which the 
various rocks yield to the " weather " — the forms of their cliffs and 
corries — these and many other features strike a geologist at once ; and 
therefore, if we are to subdivide the Highland mountains into " ranges," a 
geological classification seems the only natural arrangement that can be 
followed. Unfortunately, however, our geological lines, separating one 
belt or "range" from another, often run across the very heart of great 
mountain-masses. Our " ranges " are distinguished from each other simply 
by superficial differences of feature and structure. No long parallel 
hollows separate a "range" of schist-mountains from the succeeding 
"ranges" of quartz-rock, gneiss, or granite. And no degree of careful 
contouring could succeed in expressing the niceties of configuration just 
referred to, unless the maps were on a very large scale indeed. A geological 
classification or grouping of the mountains into linear belts cannot therefore 
be shown upon any ordinary orographical map. Such a map can present 
only the relative heights and disposition of the mountain-masses, and these 


last, in the case of the Highlands, as we have seen, cannot be called 
" ranges " without straining the use of that term. Any wide tract of the 
Highlands, when viewed from a commanding position, looks like a 
tumbled ocean in which the waves appear to be moving in all directions. 
One is also impressed with the fact that the undulations of the surface, 
however interrupted they may be, are broad — the mountains, however 
they may vary in detail according to the character of the rocks, are massive, 
and generally round-shouldered and often somewhat flat-topped, while 
there is no great disparity of height amongst the dominant points of any 
individual group. Let us take, for example, the knot of mountains 
between Loch Maree and Loch Torridon. There we have a cluster of 
eight pyramidal mountain-masses, the summits of which do not differ much 
in elevation. Thus in Llathach two points reach 3358 feet and 3486 feet; 
in Beinn Alligin there are also two points reaching 3021 feet and 3232 
feet respectively ; in Beinn Dearg we have a height of 2995 feet ; in 
Beinn Eighe are three dominant points — 3188 feet, 3217 feet, and 3309 
feet. The four pyramids to the north are somewhat lower — their eleva- 
tions being 2860 feet, 2801 feet, 2370 feet, and 2892 feet. The moun- 
tains of Lochaber and the Monadhliath Mountains exhibit similar relation- 
ships; and the same holds good with all the mountain -masses of the 
Highlands. Xo geologist can doubt that such relationship is the result of 
denudation. The mountains are monuments of erosion — they are the 
wreck of an old table-land — the upper surface and original inclination of 
which are approximately indicated by the summits of the various moun- 
tain-masses and the directions of the principal water-Hows. If we in 
imagination fill up the valleys with the rock-material Avhich formerly 
occupied their place, we shall in some measure restore the general aspect 
of the Highland area before its mountains began to be shaped out by 
Nature's saws and chisels. 

It will be observed that while streams descend from the various 
mountains to every point in the compass, their courses having often been 
determined by geological structure, etc., their waters yet tend eventually 
to collect and flow as large rivers in certain definite directions. These 
larger rivers flow in the direction of the average slope of the ancient table- 
land, while the main water-partings that separate the more extensive 
drainage areas of the country mark out, in like manner, the dominant 
portions of the same old land-surface. The water-parting of the North- 
west Highlands runs nearly north and south, keeping quite close to the 
western shore, so that nearly all the drainage of that region flows inland. 
The general inclination of the Xorth-west Highlands is therefore easterly 
towards Glenmore and the Moray Firth. In the region lying east of 
Glenmore the average slopes of the land are indicated by the directions of 
the rivers Spey, Don, and Tay. These two regions — the Xorth-west and 
South-east Highlands — are clearly separated by the remarkable depression 
of Glenmore, which extends through Loch Linnhe, Loch Lochy, and Loch 
Xess, and the further extension of which towards the north-east is indi- 


cated by the straight coast-line of the Moray Firth as far as Tarbat Ness. 
Now this long depression marks a line of fracture and displacement of 
very great geological antiquity. The old plateau of the Highlands was 
fissured and split in two — that portion which lay to the north-west sinking 
along the line of fissure to a great but at present unascertained depth. 
Thus the waters that flowed down the slopes of the north-west portion 
of the broken plateau were dammed by the long wall of rock on the 
"up-cast," or south-east side of the fissure, and compelled to flow off to 
north-east and south-west along the line of breakage. The erosion thus 
induced sufficed in the course of time to hollow out Glenmore and all the 
mountain-valleys that open upon it from the west. 

The inclination of that portion of the fissured plateau which lay to the 
south-east is indicated, as already remarked, by the trend of the principal 
rivers. It was north-east in the Spey district, nearly due east in the area 
drained by the Don, east and south-east in that traversed by the Tay and 
its affluents, westerly and south-westerly in the district lying east of Loch 
Linnhe. 1 Thus, a line drawn from Ben Nevis through the Cairngorm and 
Ben Muich Dhui Mountains to Kinnaird Point passes through the highest 
land in the South-east Highlands, and probably indicates approximately 
the dominant portion of the ancient plateau. North of that line the 
drainage is towards the Moray Firth ; east of it the rivers discharge to 
the North Sea ; while an irregular winding line, drawn from Ben Nevis 
eastward through the Moor of Rannoch and southward to Ben Lomond, 
forms the water-parting between the North Sea and the Atlantic, and 
doubtless marks another dominant area of the old table-land. 

That the valleys which discharge their water-flow north and east to the 
Moray Firth and the North Sea have been excavated by rivers and the 
allied agents of erosion, is sufficiently evident. All the larger rivers of 
that wide region are typical. They show the orthodox three courses — 
namely, a torrential or mountain-track, a middle or valley- track, and a 
lower or plain-track. The same is the case with some of the rivers that 
flow east from the great north-and-south water-parting of the North- 
west Highlands, as, for example, those that enter the heads of Beauly 
Firth, Cromarty Firth, and Dornoch Firth. Those, however, which 
descend to Loch Lochy and Loch Linnhe, and the sea-lochs of Argyllshire, 
have no lower or plain-track. When we cross the north-and-south water- 
parting of the North-west Highlands, we find that many of the streams 
are destitute of even a middle or valley-track. The majority are mere 
mountain-torrents when they reach the sea. Again, on he eastern 
watershed of the same region a large number of the valleys contain 
lakes in their upper and middle reaches, and this is the case also Avith 

1 The geological reader hardly requires to be reminded that many of the minor 
streams would have their courses determined, or greatly modified, by the geological 
structure of the ground. Thus, such streams often flow along the "strike" and 
other " lines of weakness," and similar causes, doubtless, influenced the main 
rivers during the gradual excavation of their valleys. 


not a few of the valleys that open upon the Atlantic. More frequently, 
however, the waters flowing west pass through no lakes, but enter the sea 
at the heads of long sea-lochs or fiords. This striking contrast between 
the east and west is not due to any difference in the origin of the valleys. 
The western valleys are as much the result of erosion as those of the 
east. The present contrast, in fact, is more apparent than real, and arises 
from the fact that the land-area on the Atlantic side has been greatly re- 
duced in extent by subsidence. The western fiords are merely submerged 
land-valleys. 1 Formerly the Inner and Outer Hebrides were united to 
themselves and the mainland, the country of which they formed a part 
stretching west into the Atlantic, as far probably as the present 100 
fathom line. Were that drowned land to be re-elevated, each of the 
great sea-lochs would appear as a deep mountain-valley containing one or 
more lake basins of precisely the same character as those that occur in so 
many valleys on the eastern watershed. Thus we must consider all the 
islands lying off the west coast of the Highlands, including the major 
portions of Arran and Bute, as forming part and parcel of the Highland 
division of Scotland. The presence of the sea is a mere accident ; the old 
lands now submerged were above its level during a very recent geological 
period — a period well within the lifetime of the existing fauna and flora. 

The old table-land of which the Highlands and Islands are the denuded 
and unsubmerged relics, is of vast geological antiquity. It was certainly 
in existence, and had even undergone very considerable erosion, before the 
Old Red Sandstone period, as is proved by the fact that large tracts of the 
Old Red Sandstone formation are found occupying hollows in its surface. 
Glenmore had already been excavated when the conglomerates of the Old 
Red Sandstone began to be laid down. Some of the low-lying maritime 
tracts of the Highland area in Caithness, and the borders of the Moray 
Firth, are covered with the sandstones of that age ; and there is evidence to 
show that these strata formerly extended over wide regions, from which 
they have since been removed by erosion. The fact that the Old Red 
Sandstone deposits still occupy such extensive areas in the north-east of 
the mainland, and in Orkney, shows that the old table-land shelved away 
gradually to north and east, and the same conclusion may be drawn, as 
we have seen, from the direction followed by the main lines of the existing 
drainage-system. We see, in short, in the table-land of the Highlands 
one of the oldest elevated regions of Europe — a region which has been 
again and again submerged either in whole or in part, and covered with 
the deposits of ancient seas and lakes, only to be re-elevated, time after 

1 It is not often that the writers of Geographical Class-books attempt to 
explain the origin of physical features, but when they do they occasionally make 
remarkable statements. Thus, in one manual we are told that the indentations so 
numerous on the west coasts of Norway, Scotland, and Ireland are due to the 
stormy waves of the Atlantic. From another we learn that the smallness of the 
Scottish lakes, as compared with those of Switzerland, is "owing to the deep 
indentations of the ocean ! " 


time, and thus to have those deposits in large measure swept away from 
its surface by the long-continued action of running water and other agents 
of denudation. 

The Central Lowlands. — The belt of low-lying ground that sepa- 
rates the Highlands from the Southern Uplands is, as we have seen, very 
well denned. In many places the Uplands rise along its southern margin 
as abruptly as the Highlands in the north. The southern margin 
coincides, in fact, for a considerable distance (from Girvan to the base 
of the Moorfoots) with a great fracture that runs in the same direction 
as the bounding fracture or fault of the Highlands. The Central Low- 
lands may be described, in a word, as a broad depression between two 
table-lands. A glance at the map will show that the principal features of 
the Lowlands have a north-easterly trend — the same trend, in fact, as the 
bounding lines of the division. To this arrangement there are some excep- 
tions, the principal being the belt of hilly ground that extends from the 
neighbourhood of Paisley south-east through the borders of Eenfrewshire 
and Ayrshire, to the vicinity of Muirkirk. The major part of the 
Lowlands is under 500 feet in height, but some considerable portions 
exceed an elevation of 1000 feet, while here and there the hills approach 
a height of 2000 feet— the two highest points (2352 and 2335 feet) being 
attained in Ben Cleugh, one of the Ochils, and in Tinto. Probably the 
average elevation of the Lowland division does not exceed 350 or 400 
feet. Speaking generally, the belts of hilly ground, and the more or less 
isolated prominences, are formed of more durable rocks than are met with 
in the adjacent lower-lying tracts. Thus the Sidlaws, the Ochil Hills, and 
the heights in Eenfrewshire and Ayrshire, are composed chiefly of more 
or less hard and tough volcanic rocks ; and when sandstones enter into 
the formation of a line of hills, as in the Sidlaws, they generally owe their 
preservation to the presence of the volcanic rocks with which they are 
associated. This is well illustrated by the Lomond Hills in Fifeshire, 
the basal and larger portion of which consists chiefly of somewhat soft 
sandstones, which have been protected from erosion by an overlying sheet 
of hard basalt-rock. All the isolated hills in the basin of the Forth are 
formed of knobs, bosses, and sheets of various kinds of igneous rock, 
which are more durable than the sandstones, shales, and other sedimentary 
strata by which they are surrounded. Hence it is very evident that the 
configuration of the Lowland tracts of Central Scotland is due to denuda- 
tion. The softer and more readily disintegrated rocks have been worn 
away to a greater extent than the harder and less yielding masses. 

Only in a few cases do the slopes of the hill-belts coincide with folds 
of the strata. Thus, the northern flanks of the Sidlaws and the Ochils 
slope towards the north-west, and this also is the general inclination of the 
old lavas and other rocks of which those hills are composed. The 
southern flanks of the same hill-belt slope in Fifeshire towards the 
south-east — this being also the dip or inclination of the rocks. The 


crest of the Ochils coincides, therefore, more or less closely, with an 
anticlinal arch or fold of the strata. But when we follow the axis of 
this arch towards the north-east into the Sidlaws, we find it broken 
through by the Tay valley — the axial line running down through the 
Carse of Gowrie to the north of Dundee. From the fact that many 
similar anticlinal axes occur throughout the Lowlands, which yet give rise 
to no corresponding features at the surface, we may conclude that the partial 
preservation of the anticline of the Ochils and Sidlaws is simply owing 
to the greater durability of the materials of which those hills consist. 
Had the arch been composed of sandstones and shales it would most pro- 
bably have given rise to no such prominent features as are now visible. 

Another hilly belt, which at first sight appears to correspond roughly 
to an anticlinal axis, is that broad tract of igneous rocks which separates the 
Kilmarnock coal-field from the coal-fields of the Clyde basin. But although 
the old lavas of that hilly tract slope north-east and south-west, with the 
same general inclination as the surface, yet examination shows that the 
hills do not form a true anticline. They are built up of a great variety of 
ancient lavas and fragments] tuffs or " ashes," which are inclined in many 
different directions. In short, we have in those hills the degraded and 
sorely denuded fragments of an ancient volcanic bank formed by eruptions 
that began upon the bottom of a shallow sea in early Carboniferous times, 
and subsequently became sub-aerial. And there is evidence to show that 
after the eruptions ceased the volcanic bank was slowly submerged, and 
eventually buried underneath the accumulating sediments of later Car- 
boniferous times. The exposure of the ancient volcanic bank at the 
surface has been accomplished by the denudation of the stratified masses 
which formerly covered it, and its existence as a dominant elevation at 
the present day is solely due to the fact that it is built up of more 
persistent materials than occur in the adjacent low-lying areas. The 
Ochils and the Sidlaws are of greater antiquity, but have a somewhat 
similar history. Into this, however, it is not necessary to go. 

The principal hills of the Lowlands form two interrupted belts, 
extending north-east and south-west, one of them, which we may call the 
Northern Heights, facing the Highlands, and the other, which may in 
like manner be termed the Southern Heights, flanking the great Uplands of 
the south. The former of these two belts is represented by the Garvock 
Hills, lying between Stonehaven and the valley of the North Esk ; the 
Sidlaws, extending from the neighbourhood of Montrose to the valley of 
the Tay at Perth ; the Ochil Hills, stretching along the south side of the 
Firth of Tay to the valley of the Forth at Bridge-of- Allan ; the Lennox 
Hills, ranging from the neighbourhood of Stirling to Dumbarton ; the 
Kilbarchan Hills, lying between Greenock and Ardrossan ; the Cumbrae 
Islands and the southern half of Arran ; and the same line of heights 
reappears in the south end of Kintyre. A well-marked hollow, trough, or 
undulating plain of variable width, separates these Northern Heights 
from the Highlands, and may be followed all the way from near Stone- 
VOL. I. C 


haven, through Strathmore, to Crieff and Auchterarder. Between the 
valleys of the Earn and Teith this plain attains an abnormal height (the 
Braes of Doune); but from the Teith, south-west by Flanders Moss and 
the lower end of Loch Lomond to the Clyde at Helensburgh, it resumes 
its characteristic features. It will be observed also that a hollow separates 
the southern portion of Arran from the much loftier northern or Highland 
area. The Braes of Doune, extending from Glen Artney south-east to 
Strath Allan, although abutting upon the Highlands, is clearly marked off 
from that great division by geological composition and structure, by 
elevation and configuration. It is simply a less deeply eroded portion of 
the long trough or hollow. 

Passing now to the Southern Heights of the Lowlands, we find that 
these form a still more interrupted belt than the Northern Heights, and 
that they are less clearly separated by an intermediate depression from 
the great Uplands which they flank. They begin in the north-east with 
the isolated Garlton Hills, between Avhich and the Lammermoors a narrow 
low-lying trough or hollow appears. A considerable width of low ground 
now intervenes before we reach the Pentland Hills, which are in like 
manner separated from the Southern Uplands by a broad low-lying tract. 
At their southern extremity, however, the Pentlands merge more or less 
gradually into a somewhat broken and interrupted group of hills which 
abut abruptly on the Southern Uplands, in the same manner as the Braes 
of Doune abut upon the slate hills of the Highland borders. In this 
region the greatest heights reached are in Tinto (2335 feet), and Cairn- 
table (1844 feet), and, at the same time, the hills broaden out towards 
north-west, where they are continued by the belt of volcanic rocks already 
described as extending between the coal-fields of the Clyde and Kilmar- 
nock. Although the Southern Heights abut so closely upon the Uplands 
lying to the south, there is no difficulty in drawing a firm line of demar- 
cation between the two areas — geologically and physically they are 
readily distinguished. No one with any eye for form, no matter how 
ignorant he may be of geology, can fail to see how strongly contrasted are 
such hills as Tinto and Cairntable with those of the Uplands, which they 
face. The Southern Heights are again interrupted towards the south-east 
by the valleys of the Ayr and the Doon, but they reappear in the hills that 
extend from the Heads of Ayr to the valley of the Girvan. 

Betwixt the Northern and Southern Heights spread the broad Lowland 
tracts that drain towards the Forth, together with the lower reaches of 
the Clyde valley, and the wide moors that form the water-parting between 
that river and the estuary of the Forth. The hills that occur within this 
inner region of the Central Lowlands are usually more or less isolated, and 
are invariably formed by outcrops of igneous rock. Their outline and 
general aspect vary according to the geological character of the rocks of 
which the hills are composed — some forming more or less prominent 
escarpments like those of the Bathgate Hills and the hills behind Burnt- 
island and Kinghorn, others showing a soft rounded contour like the 


Saline Hills in the west of Fifeshire. Of the same general character as 
this inner Lowland region is the similar tract watered by the Irvine, the 
Ayr, and the Doom This tract, as we have seen, is separated from the 
larger inner region lying to the east by the volcanic hills that extend from 
the Southern Heights north-west into Renfrewshire. 

The largest rivers that intersect the Central Lowlands take their rise, 
as might be expected, in the mountainous table-lands to the north and 
south. Of these the principal are the North and South Esks, the Tay 
and the Isla, the Earn, and the Forth, all of which, with numerous tribu- 
taries, descend from the Highlands. And it will be observed that they 
have breached the line of the Northern Heights in three places — namely, 
in the neighbourhood of Montrose, Perth, and Stirling. The only streams 
of any importance coming north from the Southern Uplands are the 
Clyde and the Doon, both of which in like manner have broken through 
the Southern Heights. Now, just as the main water-flows of the High- 
lands indicate the average slope of the ancient land-surface before it was 
trenched and furrowed by the innumerable valleys that now intersect it, 
so the direction followed by the greater rivers that traverse the Lowlands 
mark out the primeval slopes of that area. One sees at a glance, then, 
that the present configuration of this latter division has been brought 
about by the erosive action of the principal rivers and their countless 
affluents, aided by the sub-aerial agents generally — rain, frost, ice, etc. 
The hills rise above the average level of the ground not because they have 
been ridged up from below, but simply owing to the more durable nature 
of their component rocks. That the Northern and Southern Heights are 
breached only shows that the low grounds now separating those heights 
from the adjacent Highlands and Southern Uplands formerly stood at a 
higher level, and so allowed the rivers to make their way more or less 
directly to the sea. Thus, for example, the long trough of Strathmore 
has been excavated out of sandstones, the upper surface of which once 
reached a much greater height, and sloped outwards from the Highlands 
across what is now the ridge of the Sidlaw Hills. Here then, in the 
Central Lowlands, as in the Highlands, true mountain- or hill-ranges are 
absent. But if we are permitted to term any well-marked line or belt of 
high ground a " range," then the Northern and Southern Heights of the 
Lowlands are better entitled to be so designated than any series of moun- 
tains in the Highlands. 

The Southern Uplands. — The northern margin of this wide division 
having already been defined, we may now proceed to examine the distri- 
bution of its mountain-masses. Before doing so, however, it may be as 
well to point out that considerable tracts in Tweeddale, Teviotdale, and 
Liddesdale, together with the Cheviot Hills, do not properly belong to 
the Southern Uplands. In fact, the Cheviots bear the same relation to 
those Uplands as the Northern Heights do to the Highlands. Like them 
they are separated by a broad hollow from the Uplands, which they face — 


a hollow that reaches its greatest extent in Tweeddale, and rapidly wedges 
out to south-west, where the Cheviots ahut abruptly upon the Uplands. 
Even where this abrupt contact takes place, however, the different con- 
figuration of the two regions would enable any geologist to separate the 
one set of mountains from the other. But for geographical purposes we 
may conveniently disregard these geological contrasts, and include within 
the Southern Uplands all the area lying between the Central Lowlands 
and the English Border. 

If there are no mountains in the Highlands so grouped and arranged 
as to be properly termed "ranges," this is not less true of the Southern 
Uplands. Perhaps it is the appearance which those Uplands present when 
viewed from the Central Lowlands that first suggested the notion that 
they were ranges. They seem to rise like a Avail out of the low grounds 
at their base, and extend far as eye can reach in an approximately 
straight line. It seems more probable, however, that our earlier carto- 
graphers merely meant, by their conventional hill-shading, to mark out 
definitely the water-partings. But to do so in this manner now, when the 
large contour maps of the Ordnance Survey may be in any one's hands, is 
inexcusable. A study of those maps, or, better still, a visit to the tops 
of a few of the dominant points in the area under review, will effectually 
dispel the idea that the Southern Uplands consist of a series of ridges 
zigzagging across the country. Like the Highlands, the area of the 
Southern Uplands is simply an old table-land, furrowed into ravine 
and valley by the operation of the various agents of erosion. 

Beginning our survey of these Uplands in the east, we encounter first 
the Lammermoor Hills — a broad undulating plateau — the highest eleva- 
tions of which do not reach 2000 feet. West of this come the Moorfoot 
Hills and the high grounds lying between the Gala and the Tweed — a 
tract which averages a somewhat higher elevation — two points exceeding 
2000 feet in height. The next group of mountains we meet is that of the 
Moffat Hills, in which head a number of important rivers — the Tweed, 
the Yarrow, the Ettrick, and the Annan. Many points in this region 
exceed 2000 feet, others approach 2500 feet ; and some reach nearly 3000 
feet, such as Broad Law (2754 feet), and Dollar Law (2680 feet). In the 
south-west comes the group of the Lowthers, with dominant elevations of 
more than 2000 feet. Then follow the mountain-masses in Avhich the 
Nith, the Ken, the Cree, the Doon, and the Girvan take their rise, many 
of the heights exceeding 2000 feet, and a number reaching and even 
passing 2500 feet, the dominant point being reached in the noble 
mountain-mass of the Merrick (2764 feet). In the extreme south-west 
the Uplands terminate in a broad undulating plateau, of which the highest 
point is but little over 1000 feet. All the mountain-groups now referred 
to are massed along the northern borders of the Southern Uplands. In 
the south-west the general surface falls more or less gradually away 
towards the Solway — the 500 feet contour line being reached at fifteen 
miles, upon an average, from the sea-coast. In the extreme north-east the 


high grounds descend in like manner into the rich low grounds of the 
Merse. Between these low grounds and Annandale, however, the Uplands 
merge, as it were, into the broad elevated moory tract that extends south- 
east, to unite with the Cheviots — a belt of hills rising along the English 
Border to heights of 1964 feet (Peel Fell), and 26 7G feet (the Cheviot). 

The general configuration of the main mass of the Southern Uplands — 
that is to say, the mountain-groups that extend along the northern portion 
of the area under review, from Loch Ryan to the coast between Dunbar 
and St. Abb's Head — is somewhat tame and monotonous. The mountains 
are flat-topped elevations, with broad, rounded shoulders and smooth grassy 
slopes. Standing on the summit of some of the higher hills, one seems to 
be in the midst of a wide, gently undulating plain, the surface of which 
is not broken by the appearance of any isolated peaks or eminences. 
Struggling across the bogs and peat-mosses that cover so many of those 
flat-topped mountains, the wanderer ever and anon suddenly finds himself 
on the brink of a deep green dale. He discovers, in short, that he is 
traversing an elevated undulating table-land, intersected by narrow and 
broad trench-like valleys that radiate outwards in all directions from the 
dominant bosses and swellings of the plateau. The mountains, therefore, 
are merely broad ridges and banks separating contiguous valleys ; in a 
word, they are. like the mountains of the Highlands, monuments of erosion, 
which do not run in linear directions, but form irregular groups and 

The rocks that enter into the formation of this portion of the Southern 
Uplands have much the same character throughout. Consequently there 
is less variety of contour and colour than in the Highlands. The hills are 
not only flatter atop, but are generally much smoother in outline, there 
being a general absence of those beetling crags and precipices which are so 
common in the Highland regions. Now and again, however, the mountains 
assume a rougher aspect. This is especially the case with those of Carrick 
and Galloway, amongst which we encounter a wildness and grandeur which 
are in striking contrast to the gentle pastoral character of the Lowthers 
and similar tracts extending along the northern and higher parts of the 
Southern Uplands. Descending to details, the geologist can observe also 
modifications of contour even among those monotonous rounded hills. 
Such modifications are due to differences in the character of the com- 
ponent rocks, but they are rarely so striking as the modifications that 
arise from the same cause in the Highlands. To the trained eye, however, 
they are sufficiently manifest, and upon a geologically coloured map, which 
shows the various belts of rock that traverse the Uplands from south-west 
to north-east, it will be found that the mountains occurring within each of 
those separate belts have certain distinctive features. Such features, 
however, cannot be depicted upon a small orographical map. The 
separation of those mountains into distinct ranges, by reference to their 
physical aspect, is even less possible here than in the Highlands. Now 
and again, bands of certain rocks, which are of a more durable character 


than the other strata in their neighbourhood, give rise to pronounced ridges 
and banks, while hollows and valleys occasionally coincide more or less 
closely with the outcrop of the more readily eroded strata ; but such 
features are mere minor details in the general configuration of the country. 
The courses of brooks and streams may have been frequently determined 
by the nature and arrangement of the rocks, but the general slope of the 
Uplands and the direction of the main lines of waterfiow are at right 
angles to the trend of the strata, and cannot therefore have been 
determined in that way. The strata generally are inclined at high angles 
— they occur, in short, as a series of great anticlinal arches and synclinal 
curves, but the tops of the grand folds have been planed off, and the axes 
of the synclinal troughs, so far from coinciding with valleys, very often run 
along the tops of the highest hills. The foldings and plications do not, in 
a word, produce any corresponding undulations of the surface. 

Mention has been made of the elevated moory tracts that serve to 
connect the Cheviots with the loftier Uplands lying to north-west. 
The configuration of these moors is tamer even than that of the regions 
just described, but the same general form prevails from the neighbourhood 
of the Moffat Hills to the head-waters of the Teviot. There, however, 
other varieties of rock appear, and produce corresponding changes in the 
aspect of the high grounds, Not a few of the hills in this district stand 
out prominently. They are more or less pyramidal and conical in shape, 
being built up of sandstones often croAvned atop with a capping of some 
crystalline igneous rock, such as basalt. The Maiden Paps, Leap Hill, 
Needs Law, and others are examples. The heights draining towards 
Liddesdale and the lower reaches of Eskdale, composed chiefly of sand- 
stones, with here and there intercalated sheets of harder igneous rock, 
frequently show escarpments and terraced outlines, but have a general 
undulating contour ; and similar features are characteristic of the sandstone 
mountains that form the south-west portion of the Cheviots. Towards 
the north-east, however, the sandstones give place to various igneous rocks, 
so that the hills in the north-east section of the Cheviots differ very much 
in aspect and configuration from those at the other extremity of the belt. 
They have a more varied and broken outline, closely resembling many 
parts of the Ochils and other portions of the Northern and Southern Heights 
of the Central Lowlands. 

The low-lying tracts of Koxburghshire and the Merse, in like manner, 
present features which are common to the inner region of the Central 
Lowlands. Occasional ridges of hills rise above the general level of the 
land, as at Smailholm and Stitchell to the north of Kelso, while isolated 
knolls and prominences — some bald and abrupt, others smooth and rounded 
— help to diversify the surface. Bonchester Hill, Rubers Law, the Dunian, 
Penielheugh, Minto Hills, and the Eildons may be mentioned as examples. 
All of these are of igneous origin, some being mere caps of basalt resting 
upon a foundation of sandstone, while others are the stumps of isolated 


In the maritime tracts of Galloway the low grounds repeat, on a smaller 
scale, the configuration of the lofty Uplands behind, for they are composed 
of the same kinds of rock. Their most remarkable feature is the heavy 
mountain-mass of Criffel, rising near the mouth of the Nith to a height of 
1800 feet. 

Everywhere, therefore, throughout the region of the Southern Uplands, 
in hilly and low- lying tracts alike, we see that the land has been modelled 
and contoured by the agents of erosion. We are dealing, as in the High- 
lands, with an old table-land, in which valleys have been excavated by 
running water and its helpmates. Nowhere do we encounter any linear 
banks, ridges, or ranges as we find described in the class-books, and 
represented upon many general maps of the country. In one of those 
manuals we read that in the southern district " the principal range of 
mountains is that known as the Lowther Hills, which springs off from the 
Cheviots, and, running in a zigzag direction to the south-west, terminates 
on the west coast near Loch Ryan." This is quite true, according to many 
common maps, but unfortunately the " range " exists upon those maps and 
nowhere else. The zigzag line described is not a range of mountains, but 
a water-parting, which is quite another matter. 

The table-land of the Southern Uplands, like that of the Highlands, is 
of immense antiquity. Long before the Old Red Sandstone period, it had 
been furrowed and trenched by running water. Of the original contour 
of its surface, all we can say is that it formed an undulating plateau, 
the general slope of which was towards south-east. This is shown by 
the trend of the more important rivers, such as the Nith and the Annan, 
the Gala and the Leader ; and by the distribution of the various strata 
pertaining to the Old Red Sandstone and later geological periods. Thus, 
strata of Old Red Sandstone and Carboniferous age occupy the Merse and 
the lower reaches of Teviotdale, and extend up the valleys of the White- 
adder and the Leader into the heart of the Silurian Uplands. In like 
manner Permian sandstones are well developed in the ancient hollows of 
Annandale and Nithsdale. Along the northern borders of the Southern 
Uplands Ave meet with similar evidence to show that even as early as 
Old Red Sandstone times the ancient plateau, along what is now its 
northern margin, was penetrated by valleys that drained towards the 
north. The main drainage, however, then as now, was directly towards 

Many geological facts conspire to show that the Silurian table-land of 
these Uplands has been submerged, like the Highlands, in whole or in 
part. This happened at various periods, and each time the land went 
down it received a covering of newer accumulations — patches of which 
still remain to testify to the former extent of the submergences. From the 
higher portions of the Uplands those accumulations have been almost 
wholly swept away, but they have not been entirely cleared out of the 
ancient valleys. They still mantle the borders of the Silurian area, par- 
ticularly in the north-east, where they attain a great thickness in the moors 


of Liddesdale and the Cheviot Hills. The details of the evolution of the 
whole area of the Southern Uplands form an interesting study, but this 
pertains rather to Geology than to Physical Geography. It is enough, from 
our present point of view, to be assured that the main features of the 
country were chalked out, as it were, at a very distant geological period, 
and that all the infinite variety in the relief of our land has been brought 
about directly, not by titanic convulsions and earth-movements, but by 
the long-continued working of rain and rivers — of frost and snow and ice, 
supplemented from time to time by the action of the sea. 

The physical features more particularly referred to in this paper are of 
course only the bolder and more prominent contours — those namely 
which can be expressed with sufficient accuracy upon sheets of such a 
size as the accompanying orographical map of Scotland. With larger 
maps considerably more detail can be added, and many characteristic and 
distinguishing features will appear according to the care with which such 
maps are drawn. In the case of the Ordnance Survey map, on the scale 
of 1 inch to a mile, the varying forms of the surface are so faithfully 
delineated as frequently to indicate to a trained observer the nature of 
the rocks and the geological structure of the ground. The artists who 
sketched the hills must indeed have had good eyes for form So carefully 
has their Avork been done, that it is often not difficult to distinguish upon 
their maps hills formed of such rocks as sandstone from those that are com- 
posed of more durable kinds. The individual characteristics of mountains 
of schist, of granite, of quartz-rock, of slate, are often well depicted : nay, 
even the varieties of igneous rock which enter into the formation of the 
numerous hills and knolls of the Lowlands can frequently be detected by 
the features which the artists have so intelligently caught. Another set 
of features which their maps display are those due to glaciation. These 
are admirably brought out, even down to the smallest details. A glance 
at such maps as those of Teviotdale and the Merse, for example, shows at 
once the direction taken by the old mer de glace. The long parallel flut- 
ings of the hill-slopes, ruches moutonne'es, projecting knolls and hills with 
their "tails," the great series of banks and ridges of stony clay which 
trend down the valley of the Tweed — these, and many more details of 
interest to specialists, are shown upon the maps. All over Scotland similar 
phenomena are common, and have been reproduced with marvellous skill 
on the shaded sheets issued by the Ordnance Survey. And yet the artists 
were not geologists. The present writer is glad of this opportunity of 
recording his obligations to those gentlemen. Their faithful delineations 
of physical features have given him many valuable suggestions, and have 
led up to certain observations which might otherwise not have been 

With such admirable cartographical work before them, how long will 
intelligent teachers continue to tolerate those antiquated monstrosities 
which so often do duty as wall-maps in their school-rooms 1 Surely more 
advantage ought to be taken of the progress made within the last thirty or 




forty years in our knowledge of the physical features of our country. It 
is time that the youth in all our schools should be able to gather from 
their maps an accurate notion of the country in which they live — that 
they should see the form of its surface depicted with an approach to truth 
— and learn something more than that so many principal rivers flow in so 
many different directions. With a well-drawn and faithful orographical 
map before him the school-boy would not only have his labours lightened, 
but geography would become one of the most interesting of studies. He 
would see in his map a recognisable picture of a country, and not, as at 
present is too often the case, a kind of mysterious hieroglyphic designed by 
the enemy for his confusion. 



Leopold II., King of the Belgians. 

It is not as King of the Belgians that Leopold II. appears as the first 
Honorary Member of the Scottish Geographical Society. His title to 
occupy such a position is altogether independent of his crown and sceptre, 
and consists in the simple fact that, in spite of the trammels of state- 
craft and political etiquette, he has shown himself one of the truest and 
most liberal patrons of geographical exploration and research. To him is 
due the existence of the International African Association. On September 
12, 1876, a Geographical Conference was held at his invitation in the 
Royal Palace at Brussels. All the six Great Powers, as well as Belgium, 
were represented : Germany, by Dr. Nachtigal, Dr. Schweinfurth, Dr. 
Rohlfs, and Baron von Richthofen ; France, by M. Henri Duvej'rier, the 
Marquis de Compiegne, M. dAbbadie, M. Maunoir, etc. ; England, by Sir 
Henry Rawlinson, Commander Cameron, Lieutenant-Colonel Grant, and 
Sir Bartle Frere ; Austria, by Dr. Hochstetter ; Russia, by M. Semenoff ; 
and Italy, by Commander Negri. " The subject," said the King, 
" which brings us together to-day is one of those which most deserve the 
attention of the friends of humanity. To open to civilisation the only 
part of our globe where it has not yet penetrated, to pierce the dark- 
ness in which entire nations are shrouded, is, I venture to say, a crusade 
worthy of this century of progress. Among those who have most studied 
Africa there are many who think that it would promote their common 
aim if they coidd meet and consult each other for the purpose of arranging 
their march, combining their efforts, utilising all their resources, and avoid- 
ing the waste involved by two doing the same piece of work. It has 
occurred to me that Belgium, a neutral and central State, would afford a 
suitable rendezvous for such a meeting. ... I place myself at your 
disposal, and wish you cordially welcome." Two days later the Inter- 
national African Association was founded ; and, on the motion of Sir Bartle 


Frere, the King of the Belgians was declared President. On June 21, 
1877, a committee of the Association adopted a blue flag, with a gold star 
in the centre. This is not the place to enter into details in regard to the 
work of the Association ; nor do we require at present to rehearse the 
steps by which, at the Berlin Conference of 1884-5, the Association, already 
recognised as a territorial government by the United States and Germany, 
successively obtained similar recognition from England, Italy, Austria- 
Hungary, etc. We may add a few facts of a personal kind in regard to 
the King. Leopold II. — Leopold Louis Philippe Marie Victor — is the 
son of Leopold I. (of Saxe-Coburg, and widower of the Princess Charlotte 
of England), who was chosen to fill the Belgian throne in 1831. He was 
born at Brussels April 9, 1835, married the Archduchess Maria of 
Austria, August 22, 1853, and succeeded his father, December 10, 1865. 
His Majesty has made a tour through Europe, Egypt, and part of Asia 
Minor. In England he is known as a frequent visitor. 

Mr. Henry Morton Stanley. 

Mr. Henry Morton Stanley has long been so prominently before the 
public, that the main facts of his life must be familiar to all. The Ameri- 
canised English-speaking "Welshman, who is now by a kind of poetic justice 
the head of the International Association, had done no small amount of 
hard and successful work before he sprang into world-wide fame as the 
"Finder of Livingstone." Born in the little town of Denbigh in 1840, 
John Rowlands — for that was his baptismal name — had, through the 
death of his father, to content himself with such education as slender means 
could supply. Finding his way to America when about sixteen years of 
age, he obtained his present name from a merchant who adopted him : 
but by his death he was again left to shift for himself. During the 
American war he saw active service, first on the Confederate side under 
General Johnstone, and afterwards (having in the meantime been made 
a prisoner and escaped) on the Federal side, where he rose to be a naval 
ensign on board the Ticonderoga. On board this vessel he visited Con- 
stantinople and Smyrna, and obtained furlough for the purpose of going 
to see his mother at Denbigh. As correspondent of the Missouri Democrat 
and the New York Tribune, he joined General Hancock's expedition against 
the Cheyenne and Kiowa Indians, and on his return journey he descended 
the river Platte on a raft to its junction with the Missouri. In the interests 
of the New Fork Herald, he accompanied the English expedition to 
Abyssinia, and distinguished himself by his despatch as well as by his 
despatches. His report of the capture of Magdala reached New York 
before the official report reached London. A journey through Asia Minor 
and Persia to India further fitted him for the work of an explorer ; and 
he was acting as war correspondent in Spain when the telegram arrived 
that devoted him henceforward to Africa, The success of his Livingstone 
search expedition (1871-2) was followed by the more remarkable journey 
"through the Dark Continent," 1874-8, with its primary discoveries in 


regard to the wonderful course of the Congo. Since 1879, his interests 
have been identified with the International Association, whose claims he 
has powerfully supported at the Berlin Conference. We have been asked 
by several of those who heard his speech at the Edinburgh banquet to 
reprint the folloAving passage : — 

" Africa — that dark-forgotten continent rimmed around by mountain-ranges of 
an altitude from 1000 to 9000 feet high, divided into fair and fertile basins, and 
watered by mighty rivers, and peopled by countless millions ! A fleet of Arab 
vessels sailing across the Red Sea ; an army of these fanatics debark ; they climb 
the steep passes of Abyssinia, and surmount the lofty plateau. They are mounted 
on fleet dromedaries, with coverings of velvet, adorned with gold and silver filigree, 
on coursers of Yemen and white asses of Arabia. They unfurl their standards, and 
with banners streaming, they advance against Paganism, with the fierce cry of 
' Death to the Unbeliever — there is no God but God, and Mohammed in his prophet.' 
Terror precedes them, death accompanies them, desolation follows them. The 
Apostle of Islam knows no mercy. Ages elapse, and this creed overruns North 
Africa ; from Guardafui to Cape Juby the Crescent is triumphant. The Libyan 
Desert and the Sahara are traversed, and, invincible and dauntless, the proud riders 
advance towards the Equator, when suddenly the camels are stricken down as by a 
pestilence, the high-spirited steeds become nerveless and die, and the white asses 
shrink under this mysterious change of Nature. Battled, they return, to resume 
their conquests over the dry deserts and rocky plateaux of Northern Africa, leaving 
the southern half of Africa to other influences, and to higher nations. That is one 

" The other is of a more modern period. From the Cape of Good Hope advances 
a Christian missionary, with a meek and humble following of Hottentot servants, a 
wagon, and a few teams of oxen. He advances northward towards the untravelled 
wilds of Southern Africa. He seeks the heathen in his home. To his astonishment, 
he hails him as a brother. He soothes the benighted man with our vision of a 
Heaven, comforts him with the assurance of a Redeemer, and infuses into him the 
hope of salvation. And ever as he advances northward he repeats the song of the 
angels, which they sang over Bethlehem : ' Peace on earth and goodwill towards 
men.' This same Christian arrives finally on the banks of the Zambezi, and thence 
directs his path westward to the Atlantic Ocean. Back again, whence he came, he 
retraces his wearied steps ; and he halts not until he has viewed the waters of the 
Indian Ocean ; and along all that vast route he has dropped the sweet words of 
Peace and Love, and on whomsoever he gazed with those eyes, radiant with loving 
fellowship, he has blessed him with the view of a good man made perfect by trial in 
the wilderness. After a short pause among his own kind, he returns to Africa, and 
for fifteen years more he continues to move among the lost nations, loving and 
loved, blessing and being blessed, and at last surrenders his life in their midst on 
the shore of Bangweolo ; and as we turn to the map of Africa, to regard the traces 
of his footsteps, we behold the outlines of the Cross of the Redeemer drawn by 
Livingstone during his thirty-two years of travel in the southern half of Africa. 

" There was pomp and majesty in the proud advance of Mohammed into 
Abyssinia, but the picture of the lone Christian wandering in those untrodden wilds 
of South Africa, with charity and good-will for his motto, is almost divine. It is 
grand to think of the brave undaunted Arabs, so invincible in war, carrying the 
Crescent flag from the Red Sea to the Atlantic, but it is still grander to think of 
the large conquests achieved by this meek and patient follower of Christ by the 
simple power of Christian love. Give due meed to the Arabs for the valour 


and matchless courage with which they carried their faith over many a thousand 
leagues in Northern Africa ; but the undying constancy, the persistent resolu- 
tion, the patient fortitude of this lone soldier of the Cross, during his long and 
blameless crusade in the strongholds of Paganism, is sublime. 

"Well, then, since this Christian, with all his unrivalled goodness and piety, has 
declared that the end of the geographical feat is the beginning of commercial 
enterprise, do you wonder that I, the last of his race and colour who talked with 
him, should take up his work with the view of redeeming Africa from its forlorn- 
ness and squalid poverty by initiating legitimate commercial enterprise? If even 
Brummagem ware be the means of awakening the Africans from their torpor, let 
Brummagem ware be consecrated as the means which caused Livingstone's hopes 
to be fulfilled." 

Lord Aberdare, President of the Royal Geographical 

The Right Honourable Henry Austin Bruce, Lord Aberdare, is neither 
a famous traveller nor a professional geographer ; but in a long and useful 
political career — for he was born in 1815, was called to the bar in 1837, 
entered the House of Commons in 1852, and was raised to the peerage in 
1873 — he has displayed a steady interest in the general progress of educa- 
tion and science, and since 1880 has rendered more special service to 
Geography as President of the Royal Geographical Society of London. 
To that Society the world at large owes a debt which it will possibly only 
begin to realise when it looks back on the nineteenth century with that 
wider knowledge and wisdom to which the work of the Society will have 
contributed not a little. It has hitherto stood alone in the country, 
without assistant, as without rival ; but we hope it will yet appear as the 
proud parent of a vigorous company of geographical societies, whose 
rivalry will be the eager but filial rivalry of sons intent upon adding to 
the common inheritance of the house. Lord Aberdare's name will be per- 
petuated through the Aberdare Range, discovered by Mr. Thomson in 1883. 

Mr. Joseph Thomson. 

The career of Mr. Joseph Thomson has been at once successful and 
romantic. That a youth who in 1877 was quietly attending classes at the 
Edinburgh University should, three years later, appear before his country- 
men as one of the most notable explorers of the day, was, in itself, 
remarkable enough ; but those who know the whole history of the 
circumstances by which this transformation was brought about are aware 
that all the wonder of the matter does not lie on the surface. There are 
incidents to which we can only allude that appear almost as the visible 
workings of destiny. Mr. Thomson was born at Thornhill, Dumfriesshire, 
in 1858. His father is lessee of Gatelaw Quarry, which was at one time 
held by the original of "Old Mortality;" and the brother, to Avhose 
literary experience and taste he confesses himself indebted in connection 
with his books of travel, is the Rev. J. B. Thomson, minister of a United 
Presbyterian church at Greenock. Accidentally observing in a newspaper 


paragraph that the Royal Geographical Society was sending out an African 
expedition, under Mr. Keith Johnston, he offered his services, and obtained 
an appointment as geologist to the expedition. By Mr. Johnston's death 
he was unexpectedly obliged to take command shortly after the journey 
into the interior had commenced ; but, instead of returning, as a weaker 
man might have done, he pushed on to the north end of Lake N yassa, and 
thence, by the shores of Tanganyika, till he was within ten miles of the 
Congo. That his prudence was equal to his courage was abundantly 
shown by the fact that when he again reached the coast, after an absence 
of fourteen months, his party had lost only one man by death and none 
at all by desertion. He discovered Lake Hikwa in April 1880, and named 
it Lake Leopold, after Prince Leopold. To the Central Afrit I. 
and Bad; as he entitled the two volumes published in 1881, showed that 
Mr. Thomson could describe as well as discover. 

In 1881 he again went out to East Africa to "examine the so-called 
coal region of the Eovuma basin for the Sultan of Zanzibar," but " failed 
either to find or make the valuable mineral;" and between January 1883 
and May 1884 he was engaged on that wonderful journey Through Masai 
Land, which is described in our notices of new books. At present Mr. 
Thomson is, we believe, pushing his way inland from the Lower Niger to 
the kingdom of Sokoto, in the interests of a commercial company. His 
scientific training renders him fit to be much more than a pioneer, and we 
hope he has a long life before him. 

List of its 45 Stations. 

(Extracted from Les Bulges au Congo.) 


Vivi (Lat. 5° 40', Long. 13° 490, on the right bank of the Congo, 6 or 7 miles below 
Yellala Falls, Founded by Stanley, January 1880. 

Boma (Lat. 5° 47', Long. 13° 10'), on the right bank of the Congo, there about 13,000 
feet across, at the mouth of the small stream called the Crocodile, or Kalamu. 
It Is the seat of half-a-dozen European factories, and of the sanitarium under 
Dr. Allan, and the central post-office of the Association. A pier for the 
steamers stretches out 260 feet into the river. The sanitarium stands on an 
eminence, and is built on piles 6 feet high ; it is the largest and most comfort- 
able of the European buildings on the Congo. 

Ikungula (Lat. 5° 42', Long. 13° 55'), on the right bank of the Congo, opposite 

NokM (Lat. 5° 43', Long. 13° 45'), on the left bank of the Congo, below the influx 
of the Mpozo. 

Nuam-Mpozo (Lat. 5° 34', Long. 14° 3'), on the left bank of the Congo, at the mouth 
of the Mpozo. 

1 Much of the territory in which these stations arc situated has been assigned to other 
powers by the Berlin Conference. 



Grantville (Lat. 4° 35', Long. 11° 46'), on the coast, at the mouth of the Kuilu. 

Founded in 1883 by Captain Grant Elliot, 
Rodolfstadt (Lat. 4° 30', Long. 11° 42'), on the coast, at the mouth and on the right 

or north bank of the Kuilu. Founded by Captain Grant Elliot and Lieu- 
tenant Van de Velde. 
Alexandraville, on the coast, to the south of the mouth of the Kuilu. Founded in 

1884 by Captain Grant Elliot. 
Massabe (Lat. 4° 55', Long. 12°), on the coast, at the mouth of the Chiloango. 
Nyanga (Lat. 3° 0^, on the coast, at the mouth of the Nyanga River. Founded in 

1884 by Captain Grant Elliot. 
Mayumbe (Lat. 3° 20'), on the coast, to the north of the estuary of the Banya, 

Founded in 1884 by Captain Grant Elliot. 
Sette-Cama (Lat. 2° 40^, on the coast, at the mouth of the small stream called the 

Sette. Founded by Captain Elliot in 1884. 
Baudouinville (Lat, 4° 8', Long. 12° 0'), on the right bank of the Kuilu, 60 kUo- 

metres (37 miles) from its mouth. 
Tountonville (Kitabi), on the left bank of the Kuilu, opposite the first rapids. 
Stanley-Niadi (Lat. 3° 51', Long. 13° 3'), on the left bank of the Kuilu. 
Franktown (Lat, 3° 30', Long. 12° 45'), on the left bank of the Kuilu, opposite the 

confluence of the Luasa. 
Sengi, on the left bank of the Luasa, a right-hand affluent of the Kuilu. 
Stephanieville (Lat. 3° 59', Long. 13° 15 7 ), on the left bank of the Kuilu, at the con- 
fluence of the Ludiraa, Founded by Captain Grant Elliot. 
Strauchville (Lat. 4° 32', Long. 13° 4'), at the sources of the small river Leumme. 

Founded in 1884. 
Philippeville (Lat. 4' 18'), on the left bank of the Kuilu, at the confluence of the 

Mtioke (Lat. 50° 0', Long. 13° 43'), on the left bank of the Ludiina, affluent of the 

Mukumbi (Lat. 4° 38', Long. 14' 30'), in the interior, near the sources of the Kenga, 

a right-hand affluent of the Congo. 
Arthurville, just founded in the interior : details not yet known. 


Leopoldville (Lat. 4° 20', Long. 15° 48'), at the outlet of Stanley Pool, on the right 
bank. Founded December 1881 by Mr. Stanley and Captain Braconnier. 

Isanghila (Lat. 5° 12', Long. 14° 13'), on the Congo, opposite the falls of the same 
name. Founded in February 1881 by Stanley and Neve. 

Rubytown, in the interior, on the left bank of the Luvu, a left-hand affluent of the 

Voonda (Lat, 5° 15', Long. 14° 15'), on the left bank of the Congo, below the con- 
fluence of the Eluala. Founded in 1884. 

Lukunga (Lat. 4° 50', Long. 14° 53'), on the left bank of the Congo, above the con- 
fluence of the Eluala. 

Nortb Manyanga, on the right bank of the Congo, 1^ miles below the fall of 
Ntombo-Mataka. Founded in May 1881 by Mr. Stanley and Lieutenant 

South Manyanga, on the left bank of the Congo, H miles below the Fall of Ntombo- 


Ngumbi , Lat. 4' 49', Long. 15° 22'), on the left bank, a little higher up than South 

Lutete (Lat. 4° 49', Long. 15° 10'), on the left bank of the Congo, opposite the Falls 

of Eisa. 
Ngoma, on the left bank of the Congo, below the Kalulu Falls. 
Kinchassa (Lat. 4° 12', Long. 15° 470, on the south side of Stanley Pool 
Kimpoko (Lat. 4t 9'), on the south side of Stanley Pool. 
Msuata (Lat. 3° 28'), on the left bank of the Congo, 20 miles above the upper end 

of Stanley Pool. 
Kuamouth (Lat. 3° 14', Long. 16° 42'), on the left bank of the Congo, at the con- 
fluence of the Koango (right bank). 
Bolobo (Lat. 2° 13'), on the Congo left bank, 40 miles above the confluence of the 

Koango. Founded by Captain Hanssens in 1882. 
Lukolela (Lat. 1° 7'), on the left bank of the Congo, 30 miles above the confluence 

of the Alima. Founded by Mr. Stanley in September 1883. 
Ngondo (Lat. 0" 4'), on the left bank of the Congo, below the confluence of the Irebu. 

Founded by Captain Hanssens in 1884. 


Equateur (Lat. 0" 6' N.), on the left bank of the Congo, 3 miles below the confluence 

of the Puiki. 
Bangala Lat. 1° 5C X.) on the right bank of the Congo, above the confluence of 

the Mhundgu. Founded by Captain Hanssens in May 1884. 
Upoto, on the right bank of the Congo, above the confluence of the Ngala. Founded 

in June 1884 by Captain Hanssens. 
Aruhuimi or Aruwimi (Lat. 1 1C X., Long. 23° 30'), on the right bank of the 

Congo, at the confluence of the Aruhuimi. Founded by Captain Hanssens in 

June 1884. 
Stanley Falls (Lat. 0° 10' N., Long. 25° 0'), in the island Wana Rusani (Congo), 21 

miles from the last of the Stanley Falls. Founded in December 1883 by Mr. 


Report of Proceedings from October 28 to February 10. 

Strongly impressed with the necessity of giving greater attention to the study of 
geography as one of the most important branches of knowledge to a commercial and 
scientific people, the promoters of the " Scottish Geographical Society " resolved by 
a vigorous and determined effort to do what they felt ought to have been done long 
ago— to found a special institution in Scotland, dedicated to the promotion of 
geographical work and study. It was with this purpose that, after having received 
about 200 promises of support to their project, they held their first meeting in the 
Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce on the 28th October 1884. There was a large 
and influential meeting, and the Right Hon. Sir George Harrison, LL.D., Lord 
Provost of the city, presided. 

After a short opening address from the Chairman, Professor James Geikie, 
LL.D., F.R.S., moved the first resolution : — 

" That this meeting, recognising the scientific and general utility of a National 

Society for the promotion of Geography, resolves that a Geographical 

Society for Scotland be now formed." 


This he heartily supported in a speech on cartography and the scope of 
geographical work. The resolution was seconded by Mr. James Currie of Leith, 
President of the Chamber of Commerce, and further supported by Mr. W. C. 
Smith, Advocate, and by Dr. Clyde. Sir George Campbell, in a speech on the 
importance of the teaching of geography, then moved the appointment of the 
President and Vice-Presidents, which was seconded by Dr. George Smith and Mr. 
Ralph Richardson, W.S. On the motion of Professor Calderwood, seconded by 
Mr. Adam Black, fifty gentlemen were elected members of Council, Mr. John 
George Bartholomew was appointed interim Honorary Secretary, and Mr. A. L. 
Bruce interim Honorary Treasurer. The proceedings then terminated with a vote of 
thanks to the Chairman by Mr. Bruce, who announced that three gentlemen present 
had already subscribed 175 guineas to the reserve fund of the Society. 

Thus was the Society launched under the most hopeful auspices. The notices of 
the press being all most favourable and encouraging, the promoters felt that their 
efforts had been well rewarded, and with their newly-elected Council set to work 
with an enthusiastic will to build the Society which had just been founded. 

Suitable rooms were now taken by the Society at 80a Princes Street, and 
while they were being specially furnished and fitted, it had, through the generosity 
of the Council of the Chamber of Commerce, the free use of their rooms in Mel- 
bourne Place. It was now resolved to establish branches at suitable centres 
throughout Scotland, and the first was formed at Dundee on November 26th. 

Through the influence of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce it was arranged that Mr. Stanley 
should come to Edinburgh to deliver the Inaugural Address, an announcement which 
at once brought the Society more prominently before the public, and no doubt 
contributed in no small degree to its primary success. Mr. Stanley's address, which 
is printed as our first article, was delivered in the Music Hall, Edinburgh, on 
December 3, 1884— the Right Hon. Lord Balfour of Burleigh, Vice-President, occu- 
pying the chair. At the close of the meeting, on the motion of Dr. Milne-Home, 
His Majesty the King of the Belgians and Mr. H. M. Stanley were elected the 
first honorary members of the Society. On December 4th, the day following, in 
the presence of an assemblage of ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Stanley opened the 
rooms of the Society at 80a Princes Street. On the evening of the 5th, the 
Society entertained Mr. Stanley at its inaugural banquet, held in the Waterloo 
Rooms, Edinburgh — Mr. James Currie, President of the Chamber of Commerce, 
occupying the chair. In replying to the toasts of their healths, Mr. Stanley and 
Mr. Joseph Thomson made interesting speeches on the future of Africa. On the 
7th, a meeting of the recently formed branch at Dundee was held in the Kinnaird 
Hall, when Sir John Ogilvy presided, and Mr. Stanley delivered an address. The 
inauguration of the Society was then celebrated in Glasgow by a banquet to Mr. 
Stanley, on the 8th, and a large meeting of members, in the St. Andrew's Hall — the 
President, the Right Hon. the Earl of Rosebery, in the chair — when Mr. Stanley 
again spoke on the prospects of African commerce. 

The inauguration meetings of the Society, thus successfully carried out, were 
followed, on the 19th of January, by an address in the Masonic Hall, Edinburgh, 
from Mr. H. 0. Forbes on his recent travels in the East Indian Archipelago and 
his intended expedition to New Guinea, to the expenses of which the Society voted 
£25. At this meeting, on the motion of Sir George Harrison, LL.D., Vice- 
President, the Right Hon. Lord Aberdare, President of the Royal Geographical 
Society, and Mr. Joseph Thomson, F.R.G.S., were elected Honorary Members of 
the Society. On the 28th of January, Mr. Forbes addressed the Dundee Branch, 
and on the 3d of February he also addressed the members of the Society at 
Aberdeen, at which meeting — the Right Hon. the Earl of Aberdeen presiding — an 


Aberdeen Branch of the Society was formed. The next meeting in Edinburgh 
was beld on the 3d of February, in the Masonic Hall, Mr. John Cowan of Bee&lack, 
Vice-President, in the chair, when papers were read by Mr. Frederick L. Muir, on 
the Eastern Route to Central Africa ; by Captain Brandon Kirby, on his recent 
expedition to Ashantee ; and by the Rev. James Gall, on Cylindrical Map Projec- 
tions. On February 10th a special committee of the Council appointed Mr. Arthur 
Silva White acting Secretary and Editor. Mr. White, who has spent many years 
abroad — chiefly in diplomatic and official circles — is, from his extensive knowledge 
of modern languages and experience in literary and geographical work, ably 
qualified for the office. In the absence of an acting editor, the first number of the 
magazine has been prepared under the superintendence of the Hon. Editor, Mr. H. 
A. Webster, and the Publications Committee. These are briefly the chief points in 
the career of the Scottish Geographical Society from- its commencement, four 
months ago. There is still much preliminary work to be done ; but when the 
Society is further organised, the plan of its working arrangements completed, and 
relations established with other Geographical Societies and with eminent travellers 
and geographers at home and abroad, an endeavour will be made to arrange 
frequent meetings for the members at suitable centres throughout Scotland, which, 
together with the medium of the monthly magazine, will, it is hoped, contribute 
to fulfil the popular aims of the Society. 

John George Bartholomew, 
, B 


Chiarenza. — "Niger" inquires where this place, mentioned by Boccaccio as a 
harbour of note, was situated ? 

[Chiarenza is the Italian form of the more familiar Klarentza. An interesting 
passage in reference to this spot will be found in Mr. Tozer's 77/. Franks in the 
Peloponnesus, reprinted from the Journal of 11 lies, October 1883, vol. iv. 

No. 2. The castle is situated on the northern extremity of the promontory of 
Khlemoutzi or Khloumoutzi, on an extensive level ground surrounded on three sides 
by the sea. A rectangular enclosure, it extends about 1000 feet from east to west, 
and perhaps about two-thirds of that length from north to south. Of the outer 
wall little remains but the foundations. The modern village of Klarentza was 
formerly regarded as the site of Cyllene, the arsenal of the Eleians. At the time of 
the French conquest it bore the title of Haghios Zacharias, and afterwards became 
the chief point of communication between the settlers in the Peloponnesus and their 
compatriots in Western Europe. It is a matter of dispute whether or not it gave 
the title to the Duke of Clarence ; and the probability is that the foreign title was 
derived through Hainault from the Morea, and was combined with and adapted to 
the earldom of Clare in Suffolk. Philippa of Hainault was the wife of Edward ill., 
and it was his son who received the title when he inherited the estates of Gilbert, 
Earl of Clare and Gloucester.] 

Omoa. — R. B. wishes to know how this foreign-looking word found its way to 
the west of Scotland as the name of a station ? 

C. D. inquires whether the names, Green River, White River, etc., in the Colorado 
district, were given on account of the actual colour of their waters ? 

VOL. I. D 



Sula Sgeir. — A visit paid to this member of the Outer Hebrides by Mr. John 
Swinburne, in 1883, is described in the Proceedings of the Royal Physical Society, 
Session 1 883-4. Sula Sgeir —i.e. " Gannet Rock" (the scientific name of the gannet is 
Sula Bassana) — is about half a mile long, by about 300 yards wide at the narrowest 
part. The western end forms a steep rocky bluff ; in the centre there is a depres- 
sion ; and at the eastern end rises a round mass of rock. On the western portion 
are a number of huts built by the Lewis men, who visit the island yearly to capture 
the young gannets, which they carry off to the number of 2000, or even 3000. 
They are strange-looking erections, consisting of huge blocks of stone piled up to- 
gether, and generally having no other opening but the door. Most of them measure 
about 8 ft. by 5, and are 4 ft. high. At the time of Mr. Swinburne's visit they 
were tenanted chiefly by cormorants. 

Rona. — This island, also visited by Mr. Swinburne, lies 38 miles N.E. of the 
Butt of Lewis, and has a greatest length and greatest breadth of about a mile. It 
has long been known as the seat of a very ancient cell or chapel (St. Rona's), 11 ft. 
6 inches by 7 ft. 6 inches, and 9 ft. 3 inches high, according to Mr. Muir's measure- 
ments in 1872. About 1600 it was occupied by five families, or thirty souls ; but 
since 1844 it has been uninhabited, except during the annual sheep-shearing. Mr. 
Swinburne has added to the interest of the spot by discovering that the ruins of 
the old houses form one of the principal breeding stations of the fork-tailed or 
Leach's petrel (ProceUaria leucorrhoa) in the Western Hemisphere. 

Foula, Shetland. — Mr. John Sands of Vaila, Walls, writes to us as follows : — 
" The Iron Age began in Foula about a century ago, when the proprietor, Mr. Scott 
of Melby, sent a blacksmith to the island to make spades and other implements for 
the inhabitants, who had been obliged to use clam and horse-mussel shells for hoes 
and toggles for fish-hooks. There is an old man, Christopher Thomson by name, 
who is in his eighty-ninth year, residing in this island. He is a native of Foula, 
and informs me that he remembers the blacksmith well, but that he settled in 
Foula several years before he, Christopher, was born." 

Herm. — Chambers's Journal, 1884 (February), contains a brief account of this 
little island (450 English acres in extent), which, with its ancient keep, rude stone 
monuments, granite quarries, and stationary community of less than forty souls, has 
passed into the possession of a Scotch firm, Messrs. Linklater & Co., Leith, which 
intends to use it as a station for curing and drying fish caught in the northern seas. 

Serk. — This interesting member of the group of the Channel Islands, recently 
celebrated in glowing verse by Mr. Swinburne, is the subject of a pleasant paper by 
Mr. Charles Grindrod (Good Worcte, February 1885), in which he claims for it the 
possession " of the most remarkable sea-caves in Europe." After describing the 
Boutiques, the Moie Mouton, and the Gouliot caves, and other well-known features 
of the coast, he chronicles his discovery of what he calls the Red Cave or Cave 
Rouge on the east side of the island, between Banquette Point and Les Fontaines 
Bay. " This," he says, " is one of the hardest caves to reach, whether by land or 
sea, as it can only be visited during the lowest tides, and after a stiff scramble over 
rocks and boulders. The entrance is between two black sharp-sided, jutting rocks ; 
but this soon opens into a narrow chamber of impressive height, and divided about 
20 feet from the floor by a double arch, springing from a central column like an old 
Norman pier, with base and capital in rough resemblance. . . . The uniqueness of 
the place is the colour of this column and its arches, and, to a less extent, of the 


vails on either side of them. Bright red in itself, the stone is everywhere covered 
with a smooth velvety alga, as fine to touch and sight as the down of the most 
delicate moss, and of the deepest blood-red crimson — a hue so subtle yet splendid, 
when the morning sun is shining on it, as almost makes the sense ache to look on it." 
There are woodcuts reproducing photographs of Brecqhou, Le Grand Autelet, The 
< uiipce, and the entrance to the Creux Derrible, etc. 

Swiss Alps : Flora. — According to Professor Oswald Heere, author of an elaborate 
study on the flora of the higher region of the Alps, about half of the plants are of 
Arctic origin, and probably entered the Alpine region from Scandinavia at the Ice 
Age. 337 phanerogamous are found below 8000-13,000 Paris feet, and 12 of these 
appear above 12,000. The richest snow flora is that of Monte Rosa. — Jahrbuch der 
Sr]i,r t >';, ,■ AlpenMub, Band xix., 1883-4. 

Patmos. — The Scottish Review, January 1885, contains a very interesting article 
on this famous but little-visited island, which at once, in its bareness and beauty, 
is not unlike a bit of Scottish scenery from the north-west coast. Cultivable land 
is confined to the bays and a few glens ; and the inhabitants, about 3000 in number, 
cannot grow corn enough for their own consumption. They are all Christians, and 
Hellenes by race and language ; and, in spite of their poverty, they pay ,£200 
annually to the Porte, and £100 to the monastery. The women, like those of our 
own islands, add to their earnings by diligent knitting of socks. Two striking 
features of the island arc the long lines of stone walls with which it is streaked, and 
the immense number of churches scattered about singly or in groins. Readers of 
Dean Stanley's Sermons in the East should note the correction of his geography on 
p. 104. 

Tiryns. — Our readers will find, in the North American Review for December 
1884, a sketch from his own pen of Dr. Henry Schliemann's discovery of the 
Palace of the Kings at Tiryns (now Palreocastro), " the mythic birthplace of 
Hercules, and the residence of many mighty legendary kings." He proves that the 
building, largely constructed of sun-dried bricks, was lavishly adorned with sculp- 
tures, wall paintings, and various devices, such as the insertion of pieces of blue 
glass into a frieze of alabaster. The fire by which it was destroyed reduced the 
<juarry stones of the walls to lime, and turned the clay to terra-cotta. About three 
thousand years later a Byzantine chapel was erected at the southern extremity of 
the citadel. The supposition that in classical times the sea came up to the walls of 
Tiryns, Dr. Schliemann thinks disproved by the fact that there are " cyclopean 
remains of a prehistoric city and its mole on the sea-shore, about a mile and a 
quarter away." 

Crete. — Dr. F. Halhherr, a pupil of Domenico Comparetti's, has just discovered a 
long boustrophedon inscription, dating probably from the 4th century B.C., on the 
site of the city of Gortyra. 

Latest Rumanian Census. — With reference to the " latest " reckoning of the 
population of Rumania, which we copied, says the Globus, from the Times, it is to 
be observed that an official letter, dated 2d October 1878, and addressed to the 
Gotha Almanac, stated (and the statement has since been confirmed) that no census 
had been taken since 1859-60, and that the population of the country, within its 
present limits (i.e. including the Dobruja), was estimated at 5,376,000. 

Through Traffic from Paris to St. Petersburg. — An arrangement has at length 
been effected between the German and Russian railway companies, by which, from 
the 1st April next, an express train shall be run daily from Berlin to St. Petersburg, 


in connection with that from Paris to Berlin. It is intended that the entire distance 
shall be performed in fifty-six hours, a reduction of eighteen hours upon the time 
now necessary to accomplish the journey. — La Gazette Geographique, Jan. 12, 1885. 

Railway between Philippopolis and Bourgas. — The Government of Eastern 
Rumelia is occupied at present with the project of establishing a railway connection 
between Philippopolis, the capital, and the harbour of Bourgas, on the Black Sea, 
in a direct line by Chirpan and Eski-Zagra. The object in view is to make Bourgas 
a seat of the export trade, which it has to a great extent lost since Dede-Agatch, on 
the yEgean Sea, was connected by rail with Adrianople, and in spite of its bad 
roadstead, was preferred by the mercantile world for exportation. The transport of 
goods could certainly be more simply and cheaply effected if only the lines were 
laid between Bourgas and Jamboli, which already communicates with the capital 
by a railway passing entirely through Eastern Bumelian territory. — Globus, No. 4, 

German Colonies in Palestine.— Haifa, Joppa, etc. — During the years 1840 to 
1850, a movement was set on foot in " pietistic " circles in Wiirtemberg, the aim of 
which was to found colonies in Palestine. In 1849 the matter v/as taken up by 
pastor Dr. Christopher Hofmann, and soon afterwards he and his adherents formed 
themselves into an independent religious society under the name of German 
Templars. By 1858 the sect had so far spread that it was able to raise funds for 
the purpose of sending three pioneers to the Holy Land, who should report as to the 
capabilities of the soil for agriculture, and especially for the cultivation of the vine. 
Their report proving sufficiently satisfactory, the first band of emigrants, mostly 
young people, set out in 1860 from their homes for Palestine, and were followed six 
years later by a larger company, consisting of several families. These people 
established themselves on the Plain of Jezreel ; but they were unable to cope with 
the difficulties of the climate and those arising from the inland situation of the 
colony. The first permanent settlement was begun on 6th April 1868, at Haifa, at 
the foot of Mount Carmel, and about the same time a second station near to Joppa, 
under the leadership of Dr. Hofmann himself. Three years later, land (partly 
cultivated, partly uncultivated) situated on the ancient Plain of Sharon, about 3 
miles or so east of Joppa, was purchased from the Turks, at the price of from £5 
to ,£6 the hectare (nearly 1\ English acres), and the name of Sarona given to the 
colony. In 1873 a further settlement was made near Jerusalem. Meanwhile the 
numbers of the German Templars increased from 3000 in 1861, mostly in Wiirtem- 
berg, to 6000 in 1882, scattered through Wiirtemberg and in Syria, and also in 
North America (Buffalo, Machias, New York) and Southern Russia (Orbelianovka, 
Tempelhof, and Scbonfeld). In Syria the population of the five settlements of the 
sect — Haifa, Joppa, Jerusalem, Sarona, and Artas — amounted to about 2300 in 
1884. Of late years the emigration from Swabia (Wiirtemberg) has largely fallen 
off : in 1879, there landed at Joppa 113 ; in the following year the number fell to 
80 ; in 1881, to 44 ; in 1882, to 19 ; and in 1883, only 8 emigrants arrived. 

The settlers are almost wholly engaged in cultivating the soil. Of the village 
near Joppa, oranges, lemons, olives, dates, figs, grapes, etc., are the principal pro- 
ducts, wine and fruits being exported to the annual value of ,£250,000. Wheat, 
maize, and cotton are also grown. The colonists of Haifa have nearly 700 acres under 
cultivation, growing wheat, potatoes, peas, beans, and grapes for wine. At the 
agricultural settlement of Sarona more than 1230 acres are under cultivation, not- 
withstanding the difficulties this colony had to contend against in its infancy, when 
it lost many members from fever and dysentery. Wine is the principal product 
of the Jerusalem colony : several well-kept vineyards stretch alongside the road 


leading from the Holy City to Bethlehem. The wines are exported to Egypt, Con- 
stantinople, Vienna, and Germany. The chief harvest of oranges takes place in 
February. The grain is reaped in July. From the end of March, when the rainy 
season terminates, until the middle of October there is continual sunshine, the heat 
in August and September sometimes reaching 122° Fahr. at noon ; but during these 
two months the soil does not require much attention. In October and November 
the sowing season commences. Storms of hail and rain do not occur to damage 
the crops, though locusts sometimes work considerable havoc. 

As is usual with German education, the schools in the settlements are good ; 
they receive a small yearly contribution from the Imperial Government at Berlin. 
The people continue to speak their native language, and promote social intercourse 
in German fashion by several clubs and societies. — Aus A Urn IT. Ittiu iU n. Sept. 1884. 

An Italian Expedition to Siberia. — There has been published at Florence a 
volume, by Signer Sommier, entitled, Dn Estatt in Siberia (Florence, 1885), and 
a resume o{ it by Dalla Vedova forms a paper in the Xnova Aatologia for January. 
It was in June 1880 that Signor Sommier left Moscow, and before his return in 
October he had visited Nizhnii-Novgorod, descended the Volga, ascended the 
Kama to Perm, proceeded by rail to Yekaterinburg, thence by tarantass to Tyumen, 
by steamer to Tainarova, and so down the Ob till it grows salt with the tidal cur- 
rent at Xizhnii-Ostroff — a journey altogether of 6000 kilometres (3726 miles) in 
four months and five days. He was the first Italian to visit the Ob countries. The 
rlora and the ethnology of the districts through which he passed received the 
principal share of his attention. 

Between the Lena and the Amur. — From a letter from M. Joseph Martin, read 
before the Paris Geographical Society. 7th November 1884, it appears that, in the 
course of six months, he accomplished a journey of 2500 versts [1657 English 
miles), over 600 of which the road had to be cleared hatchet in hand. All the 
horses and seven of the dogs belonging to the expedition were lost : two men dii d, 
and one became insane. The country is a very fine one ; it abounds in game, 
there are lakes of great beauty, and the streams are fishful. This is the first time 
that the mountains between those rivers have been crossed. 

Siberian Sulphur. — The Novosti informs us that the Department of Mines is 
fitting out an expedition to Western Siberia, for the purpose of thoroughly examin- 
ing the sulphur deposits which were lately discovered there. The report of their 
existence was first brought to Russia by Lieut. Kalitin, and afterwards in a single 
hill as much as 500,000,000 puds (1 pud = 36 lbs.) were discovered by the mining 
engineer Konshin. There are known to be more than ten hills which show unmis- 
takable signs of their possessing sulphur. Rich deposits of sulphur are, generally 
speaking, rare, and up to the present time Europe has been mainly supplied with 
this commodity from Sicily. Within the Russian dominions sulphur deposits have 
been hitherto worked in Dagestan, and also in Chirkot, not far from Petrovsk. The 
Novosti thinks that in a short time the Siberian sulphur will enter into a strong 
competition with the Sicilian. The expedition which has been planned is to start 
from St. Petersburg in the course of this month (February 1885). — Globus, No. 4, 

British Trade with Tibet. — At present there is practically none. The Indian rail- 
way system, except what passes through Xepaul and Cashmere, has been pushed 
north from Calcutta to Darjeeling, which is only 100 miles from the Tibetan 
borders ; but the stream of commerce which would thus be naturally carried into 
Tibet is stopped, not by physical difficulties, but by the traditional exclusiveness of 


Tibetan policy inspired from Pekin. The people of Tibet prize broad-cloth above 
all things, are learning the virtues of piece goods, are ready purchasers of hardware, 
use indigo largely, smoke tobacco, and drink tea as almost their only beverage. 
With all these things British India could supply them ; and the tea-growers of 
Darjeeling and Assam especially ought to have no difficulty in competing with 
< Mima, which has to send its produce not a few hundred miles, but about one 
thousand two hundred miles. In return Tibet can give us gold, musk, the delicate 
fleeces of its shawl-goats and sheep. The recent visit of Mr. Colman Macaulay to 
the Governor of Kombajong seems to give good hope of a re-adjustment of relations 
along the Tibeti-Indian frontier. Mr. Macaulay was well received, and the British 
and Tibetan officers were photographed in a group. As the Tibetans, it is said, 
believed that Her British Majesty is an incarnation of Tara (Wisdom), it may 
surely be expected that her offers for further intercourse will not be rejected if 
( 'hinese interference can be prevented. 

Ptolemy's Geography of India. — "We are glad to learn that the papers by Mr. J. 
W. M'Crindle, which have recently been appearing in The Indian Antiquary 
(1884-5), are to be published separately. The amount of patient and scholarly 
work which they indicate is of the kind that we are rather accustomed to look for 
from a German savant, and can hardly be properly appreciated by one who does 
not know by experience the difficulties of such investigations. We shall have the 
pleasure of reviewing the volume when it appears. 

Longitude of Batavia. — According to Dr. J. A. C. (Judemans, the longitude of 
Batavia has been determined by telegraphic observation as 106° 48' 25"'3 W. of 
Greenwich. See Indian Almanac, 1884, or Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Ned.- 
Indie, Deel xliii. 

Exploration in the Malay Peninsula. — In order to complete his incpiiries on the 
practicability of constructing a canal across the Malay peninsula, M. F. Deloncle 
and a scientific party, attended by a Siamese Commissioner, left Bangkok in 
February last. After having surveyed the peninsula from the Isthmus of Kraw as 
far as Sunggora, and visited the little-known archipelago of the Samuie Islands, the 
expedition penetrated into the large lagoon behind Tantalam Island, which they 
entered by broad and deep channels. Here the party disembarked, and were pro- 
vided with elephants by the Eajah of Tailing to cross the peninsula. They first 
traversed a magnificent plain, 12 miles broad, covered with rice fields, on the edge 
of the Klong Tailing, and afterwards crossed the chain of the LuaDg Mountains, 
which forms the back-bone of the peninsula, at the pass of Khan-Phra, descending 
into the basin of the Tsang river, which flows to the Sea of Bengal, and, finally 
crossing another rice plain, reached the town of Trang. From thence the expedition 
proceeded to Pinang, making a survey of the coast. In April the engineers of the 
party recrossed the Talung Isthmus, to make a more complete inspection of it, from 
which they returned in June, having fully explored several native states. Geologi- 
cal sections have been made of all this region, and specimens which they brought 
back have been analysed at the School of Mines, disclosing the existence of numer- 
ous beds of auriferous quartz, tin, and iron, in this terra incognita. Some observa- 
tions on the ethnography of the Sam-Sam (the progeny of Siamese and Malays), 
their political institutions, and their piratical habits have also been collected. — La 
Gazette Geographique, January 22. 

Abolition of Slavery in Cambodia. — The first number of the Bulletin Officiel of 
Cambodia publishes two important decisions of the Governor — the first stipulating 
that all slaves be liberated, but that at present they be not entirely discharged from 
all legal obb>ations towards their former masters ; the second suppressing the tax 


upon the paddy (rice) harvest of 1884, an impost which had been very unpopular with 
the Cambodian peasantry, and has frequently been the cause of much tumult. — 
La Gazette Giographique, 5th January lb85. 

The Liideritz Expedition into Herrero Land returned on the 3d of October of 
last year to the coast. The leader, Lieutenant Israel, writing therefrom, says : — 
•" Kamahexeno, of Okahandje, King of the Damaras, has issued a proclamation, by 
which he places under his own protection the whole territory belonging to the 
Topnaars, Bastards, and Swartboys. The territory belonging to the Topnaars (recog- 
nised by the English Government) can nevertheless be purchased for the account 
of Liideritz. We have found copper in great quantity, and consider the land to be 
extremely valuable." Okahandje, according to the Globus, from which the above 
has been quoted, is a mission station, which lies about 250 kilometres (155 miles) 
inland from Walfisch Bay, under the 23d degree of S. lat. The Topnaars are settled 
immediately to the east of the English territory on Waltisch Bay, the Swartboys a 
degree farther north. 

Ascent of Cameroon. — Dr. Hug / r, accompanied by two Poles, Von Rogo- 
zin.-ki [Schultz and Jenikovski, reached, on December 12, l^ v 4, the summit of the 
peak of Great Cameroon, 14,< »00 feet high, called by the natives Mongo-ma-loba 
Mountain of the Gods). Starting from the small island of Mondoleh, situated in 
the Bay of Ambas, on the morning of 8th December, they landed at the village of 
Bota, whence they made their way through the rank tropical vegetation of the forest, 
witli the thermometer at 97° Fahr., to Boando, the last group of human habitations 
on this side of the mountain. Half the following day was spent in securing natives 
to clear a road through the thickets and forest undergrowth, so that night found 
them at a cave called Issurua, only on the further side of Little Cameroon. On the 
third day, at a height of 6890 feet above sea-level, they emerged from the bush 
(though not from the forest), and after another hour's climb came to Mann Spring, 
the last place whence a supply of water could be obtained. This spring is named 
after the botanist Mann, who, after his unsuccessful attempt in 1860, had better 
fortune when he ascended the Cameroon peak with Burton, 19th December 1861 
to 2d February 1S62. The attention of the travellers was specially struck by two 
things during this part of their journey — the frequency of the quite fresh elephant 
tracks and the large numbers of wild coffee-trees, loaded with fruit, not of the 
Liberian, but of the Arabian kind. Throughout the greater part of the ascent 
they also met with many antelopes, about the size of park deer, which exhibited 
scarcely any tear at their presence. On the fourth day the path led over grassy 
hills and across old and disintegrated lava-beds, up to a height of 9187 feet above 
sea-level. Starting at daybreak on the last day of the ascent (December 12), they 
came, at about 11 o'clock, tc the edge of a lava-field nearly two miles in width. There 
the Europeans were obliged to leave their native beaters behind ; for, in spite of 
all the wrappings that could be procured before starting on the expedition, they 
suffered considerably from the cold and the rarefied atmosphere. About an hour 
after noon the mist lifted, and the travellers saw before them the " Mountain of the 
Gods" with its three peaks rise up from amidst the numerous craters of the 
Cameroons. A difficult and laborious climb of two hours and a half brought them 
at length to the highest summit, whence they had a wide view of the hills, clouds, 
and extinct volcanoes lying below them. Only half of the wall of the former crater 
remains, the rest having caved in ; but no signs of recent volcanic activity could be 
detected either on the summit itself or on any other part of the Cameroons that 
came under their observation, although some of the exteusive lava-fields that they 
crossed appeared to be of comparatively modern date. Indeed in 1868 the captain 


and passengers of a passing steam-vessel out at sea reported that they saw flames 
and pillars of smoke rising from the top of the Cameroons. Nor did Dr. Zbller and 
his companions discover the solfatara mentioned by Burton. The thermometer 
registered 37° Fahr. on the summit, but they were unable to determine its exact 
height, owing to the barometer which was taken up for that purpose proving 
insufficient. Dr. Zoller lost his powers of speech during the final part of the ascent, 
and only recovered them after resting a while on the edge of the water, which was 
visited by a furious storm during that time. The return journey occupied three 
days. In 1847 Merrick made an attempt to ascend this same mountain, but after 
reaching the grassy slopes he was driven back by cold and thirst. Besides Burton's 
ascent, already mentioned, the feat was performed by an English missionary named 
Comber, in eight days, in April 1877. — Kohiische Zeitung, 5th February 1885. 
[Another account is given by Rogozinski in the Mouvement Geographique for 
February 22.] 

Spanish Annexation in West Africa, — The Impartial of Madrid states that the 
delegates of the Spanish African Society, sent out in July last to Africa, announce 
that the Germans having taken possession of the coast, they, in their turn, intend 
to occupy a zone situated in the interior of the country, having a superficial area of 
nearly 6000 square miles, comprising the Sierra Cristal, and said to be very fertile. 
They have concluded a treaty with eighty chiefs and ten tribes, who have recog- 
nised the sovereignty of Spain. — La Gazette Geographique, 5th January 1885. 

New Spanish Possessions on the West Coast of Africa. — Replying to a question 
before the Cortes, Don Jose de Elduayen, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, declared 
that the Spanish Government had taken under its protection the establishments 
recently founded on the African coast between Morocco and Senegal by a commer- 
cial company, and that he had signified this resolution to foreign powers. — La 
Gazette Geographique, January 22. 

Somali Country — East Africa. — A scientific expedition, under Dr. Philippe 
Paulitschke, and well equipped by the munificence of Dr. Dominique Kammel, of 
Hardegger, left Europe at the end of December last for Zeila, to explore the Somali 
country between the southern coast of the Gulf of Aden and the neighbourhood of 
Harar. — La Gazette Geographique, 12th January 1885. 

Kilimanjaro — H, H. Johnston's Expedition. — As the Scottish Geographical 
Society expects to hear Mr. Johnston's account of his exploration from luVown lips 
at an early date, it is enough for us in the meantime to record that a series of 
papers from his pen began to appear in the Daily Telegraph, Saturday, 10th 
January, and that on 10th February he read a paper on the people of Eastern 
Equatorial Africa — the Wa-Taita, Akamba, Wa-Tarata, Masai, etc., before the 
Anthropological Institute. (See Nature, 19th February). 

Messrs. Giraud and Kerr at Lake Nyassa. — Dr. Scott, medical missionary at the 
Free Church Livingstonia Mission headquarters on Lake Nyassa, writes on 4th 
November 18S4 to the secretaiy, Dr. George Smith : — " The new obstruction of the 
Lower Shire has caused tremendous losses to the African Lakes Company and 
Blantyre Mission, as well as to us. The chance is small of getting any compensa- 
tion from the Portuguese, whom we have more to fear than the natives. In the 
meantime, the Mission will be dependent upon the African Lakes Company for a 
supply of calico. 

" We have had a visit from M. Leon Giraud, the French [Belgian] traveller, 
who has been exploring Lakes Bangweolo [Bemba], Moero, and Tanganika. He 
has availed himself of this route to return home. 

" Mr. Kerr, a Scotchman, who had travelled overland from the Diamond Fields 


in South Africa, was hospitably entertained by the natives at Cape M'Clear, and 
taken care of when suffering from a severe attack of dysentery. He stayed there 
until the arrival of the steamer from the north. Though by no means favourably 
disposed to mission work, he remarked, " I have come across many tribes of Africans, 
but the natives here are the best Niggers I have ever met." 

Map of the Suakin-Berber Route, by General Gordon. — Mr. Stanford has just 
issued a map of unusual interest at the present moment ; it is a facsimile of a map 
drawn by the late General Gordon at Khartoum, March 17, 1874, of his route from 
Suakin to Berber and Khartoum. The map was transmitted by Gordon to a friend 
in England, who has rightly allowed it to be reproduced and rendered accessible to 
the public. Mr. Stanford has made an exact reproduction of the original, even to 
an error in the scale, probably caused by an omission of the figure 1. The scale is 
1 : 1,325,000, or 21 miles to an inch, whereas Gordon has marked it as 1 : 425,000. 
The map is a very careful record of each day's route, from the time Gordon left 
Suakin on February 28 till he arrived at Khartoum on March 13. The times of 
his arrival and departure at each station are given ; the undulating, sandy nature 
of the country graphically brought out ; the frontier of the Eastern Soudan indi- 
cated ; the available wells marked ; occasional notes recorded as to special features ; 
and the character of the river from Berber to Khartoum indicated. Much of the 
unoccupied space on the map is filled with writing by Gordon. " We left Cairo," 
he states in one place, " Feb. 21 ; arrived Suez, Feb. 21 ; left Suez, Feb. 22 ; arrived 
at Suakin, Feb. 26 ; left Suakin, Feb. 28 ; arrived Berber. March 8 ; left Berber, 
March 9 ; arrived Khartoum, March 13. The vegetation having opened out, we 
ought to be at Gondokoro, leaving Khartoum on March 22, about the 15th of 
Aprd." Again he makes the following remarks on the route from Suakin to 
Khartoum : — " The road from Suakin to Berber is through an arid, mountainous 
country ; as far as Ariab it is sparsely covered with dwarf trees of stunted growth. 
The wide plains are partly sand and partly black basaltic stone. From Ooback to 
Berber the plain is generally sandy. The wells are mere holes scratched in the 
beds of the rivers. During November heavy showers fall, but they are soon sucked 
up. Price of camel hire from Suakin to Berber, I. 1 , Nap. Hire of boat from 
Berber to Khartoum, 7 or 8 Nap. The Nile rapids are dangerous to pass at night. 
Packages for camels ought to weigh about 150 or 1201b. The climate is very dry, 
hot during the day and cold at daybreak." Then follows an outline sketch of the 
arid country, with the remark: — " N.B. — The worst part of journey between Suakin 
and Berber is the latter half, the wells being so far apart. The stations are from 
Suakin — 1. Handenbu, 3 hours ; we took 3 hours. 2. Hondoukh, 10 hours ; we 
took 5 hours. 3. Goloos, 10 hours ; we took 7 hours. 4. Haritree, 10 hours ; we 
took 7 hours. 5. Hyab, 10 hours ; we took 9 hours. 6. Muttah, 3 hours ; we 
took 3 hours. 7. Ariab, 16 hours ; we took 9 hours. 8. Ooback, 24 hours ; we 
took 23 hours. 9. Berber, 24 hours ; we took 22 hours." Thus what usually takes 
110 hours, Gordon characteristically did in 88 ; the distance, he states, is 288 miles ; 
" sheep can be bought en route." As a memorial of our lost hero the little sketch 
is of interest ; but it will have its value independently of this association. — The 
Times of 19th February. 

SuaWm. — From the sketches of Juan Maria Schuver, the unfortunate Dutch 
traveller who recently lost his life in the Soudan, we extract the following descrip- 
tion : — " Suakim is, after Khartum, not only the most important town of Nubia, but 
also the most important harbour of the Sudan and of the whole west coast of the Red 
Sea. It passed in 1865 from the Turkish to the Egyptian Government, along with 
Massowah and some other places in the vicinity, and thus it appears again as part 


of the Egyptian possessions, to which it belonged in earlier times. The town 
proper lies on a small island 8| miles long in its greater axis, and separated by a 
small arm of the sea from the mainland. In population it is exceeded by the 
suburb of El Gef on the mainland, which has very irregular streets, with houses no 
better than huts, but possesses a very lively bazaar and (in the north-west quarter) 
barracks. On the outskirts of the suburb, and surrounded by gardens and date- 
trees, lie the wells from which the population derive a supply of drinking water, 
reudered so brackish by the vicinity of the sea that it can be used by Europeans 
only under the stress of absolute necessity. El Gef is, in fact, an oasis, for inland 
for many miles round stretches a sandy saline and arid desert." 

Juan Maria Schuver. — The following letter by Mr. J. M'Lachlan in regard to 
this Dutch traveller appears worth reprinting from the Scotsman newspaper : — 
" Last week, in a notice in the Scotsman of a book by Colonel Colborne, I read 
with painful interest an account of the sad end of Schuver, the Dutch explorer. In 
the spring of 1880 that gentleman came from Paris to Edinburgh to study land 
surveying and kindred subjects. During the two months he was here I had fre- 
quent opportunities of conversing with him — so often, indeed, that quite a feeling of 
friendliness sprung up between us. On his finally leaving town, in answer to an 
inquiry as to where he purposed going, he said that wherever there was fighting he 
would be heard of. Looking out since then with some anxiety, the notice in your 
review is the first news I have heard of him since he left. His life seems to have 
been full of adventure, and many incidents in his career were related in his very 
interesting conversations. When only a boy he travelled with his father — a Dutch 
merchant of note — in the East, and when in Jerusalem he managed to secrete him- 
self in the Holy Sepulchre, unknown to the attendants, and when the hour of mid- 
night came, invoked the Deity to appear to him, if there xoas one, and relieve his 
mind of the doubts he had. No answer was given, and he seemed to infer that the 
experiment came near to proof that there was no such Being. He often argued on 
the subject here with remarkable earnestness and vigour. Dangerous adventure 
had great attraction for him. When under twenty years of age he was among the 
Communists at the bombardment of Paris ; again, in Plevna, where he was corre- 
spondent of the Standard, he took every opportunity he could of gratifying his 
dislike to the Russians by helping to point the guns of the Turks. Taken prisoner 
at the fall of the place while attempting to leave, a Russian general kept him in his 
own quarters over a day without food, when he was released. The last fighting in 
Spain, in the Don Carlos affair, attracted him thither. He said that he had a pre- 
sentiment that he should yet be required as a ruler over some half-civilised people, 
and accordingly had picked up a surprising amount of scientific and practical infor- 
mation to help him — when the time came — to be of service to his subjects. He 
was an accomplished linguist. His sympathies were generous, and amidst all his 
love of adventure he longed to do some prominent service to the world. — I am, &c, 
J. M'Lachlan." 

America and Europe. — In a rollicking but excellent paper, " De Banana," in the 
Comhill (February), an anonymous writer discourses learnedly and laughingly 
about the food-stuff which supports hundreds of millions of our " beloved tropical 
fellow-creatures." He adopts the somewhat doubtful hypothesis that, though 
originally a Malayan plant, the banana had already reached the mainland of America 
and the West India Islands long before the voyage of Columbus, seeing that (apart 
from the evidence of Garcilaso and other historians of the conquest), beds com- 
posed of banana leaves are said to have been discovered in the tombs of the Incas. 
And as the plant is practically seedless, and is unknown in the wild state in the 


Western Continent, he argues that it must have been transported by man, as must 
also have been the case with the American sweet potato, naturalised iu China about 
the early part of the Christian era. The article as a whole may be recommended to 
readers of records of tropical travels ; but is it amusing or advisable to speak, even 
in a rollicking article, of " people finding that Columbus himself was an egregious 
humbug" I 

Steamer Route between England and the Canadian North-West. — Since the return 
of the expedition sent this year by the Canadian Government to secure further light 
as to the possibility of a direct route for steamers from England by Hudson Straits 
to Port Churchill on Hudson Bay, Dr. Bell, who was with the expedition, has 
published his opinion that the route is probably feasible for four months in the year. 
The importance of such a result being established is plain, when it is considered 
that Port Churchill is near the heart of North America. It is only 400 miles by 
land from the greatest wheat-field of the world, and is actually nearer Liverpool 
than either Montreal or New York. The distance from Churchill Harbour to Liver- 
pool by Hudson Straits is about 2926 miles, while from Montreal it is 2990, and 
from New York 3040 miles. The traveller who goes from Britain to the Canadian 
North- West by Quebec, makes a round-about of some 1500 miles. 

Mistassini Lake, Labrador.— At the meeting of the British Association last year, 
in Montreal, the attention of the Geographical Section was naturally directed, 
somewhat more specially than at other meetings, to questions connected with the 
continent of America. One item of interest referred to by the President of the 
section in his survey of the progress of Geography during the year was the revived 
rumour as to the enormous size of Lake Mistassini, in the interior of Labrador. A 
member afterwards quoted reports that this inland sea was little inferior in size 
to Lake Superior. Iu this connection it should be remembered that similar reports 
used to be current with regard to Lake Nipigon. Dr. Robert Bell, of the Canadian 
Geological Survey, who surveyed Nipigon in l v 7". has, after reviewing all the 
evidence on the subject, gathered since the first ineffective expedition sent thither 
in 1871, published his opinion that Lake Mistassini will not prove anything like so 
large as Lake Superior ; nor does he believe that large tracts of land fit for settle- 
ment will be found on its shores. 

Roraima, British Guiana. — At the same meeting Mr. Im Thurn, then preparing 
for an expedition, since successfully accomplished, to the mysterious mountain of 
Roraima, on the frontiers of British Guiana, gave an account of all the known 
attempts of Europeans to reach that remarkable pillar-like, flat-topped sandstone 

Proposed Canal in Florida. — The dangers to which navigation is exposed on the 
coasts of Florida, owing to the innumerable banks, reefs, and islets, have long 
attracted attention, and a society has been formed in the United States to construct 
a canal in the northern part of the peninsula. It is intended to commence at a 
point on the Suwanee River (the Swanee River of the Christy Minstrels), which 
enters the Gulf of Mexico, and to terminate at Jacksonville, near the mouth of the 
St. John River, on the Atlantic. The distance from sea to sea is about 130 miles ; 
the country is almost entirely flat, and in parts marshy, presenting few or no 
natural obstacles. The expenses are estimated at £9,000,000, of which over 
j£7,000,000 would be expended on the construction of the canal and the two ports. 
The New York Chamber of Commerce computes the traffic by the Strait of 
l'!< a ida as three times that of the Suez Canal. Dining the last five years 362 vessels 
have been wrecked on the coasts of Florida, and the total loss in ships and mer- 
chandise is said to amount to £1,000,000 annually. The distance from New York 


to Pensacola, a naval station on the Gulf of Mexico, would be diminished 680 
miles, and to New Orleans 560 miles, whilst a saving of 473 miles would be effected 
between this hitter port and Liverpool. — La Gazette Geographique, January 22. 

The Tehuantepec Snip Railway. — Engineering (January 9th and 23d) contains a 
very full account of this marvellous project, which promises, for example, to shorten 
the sea-distance between New York and Hong-Kong by 5343 miles via the Cape 
of Good Hope, and by 1994 miles via the Suez Canal ; that between New York and 
San Francisco by 10,797 miles ; and that between Liverpool and San Francisco by 
7527 miles. Mr. Eads, the originator of the scheme, was born May 23, 1820, at 
Lawrenceburgh, Indiana, and is well-known for the celerity with which, in 1861, 
he built the seven iron-clad gunboats that played so important a part in the civil 
war, and also for the successful carrying out, since 1875, of a great engineering enter- 
prise at the mouth of the Mississippi, which " has raised New Orleans from being 
the eleventh to be the second export city in the Union." He now proposes to lay 
down in straight lines across the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, a triple railway track, 
along which a team of engines will draw a vast car of peculiar construction, bear- 
ing the strange freight of a fully equipped vessel, lifted bodily out of the water of 
one ocean, and ready to slip into the welcoming water of the other. That he has 
devised satisfactory means of overcoming the obvious difficulties of the enterprise 
is admitted by many eminent engineers. He has secured a concession of a right of 
way across the isthmus, about a quarter of a mile in width, exemption from taxes, 
a grant of 1,000,000 acres of public lands, and various other privileges. The 
northern terminus of the proposed railway is at the town of Minatitlan, about 25 
miles up the Coazacualco River, which, when the 15-foot bar has been deepened, 
will afford a deep channel for this distance inland. " The line ascends by gradi- 
ents of 42 feet to the mile over the Atlantic plains for about 35 miles. It then 
enters a gently undulating table-land, from which it passes by a series of broad 
valleys to the summit level of the Tarifa plains, 726 feet above the sea. The descent 
from this point to the Pacific plains has a uniform grade of 1 in 100. From the 
base of the mountains to the Pacific terminus at Salina Cruz, on one of the lagoons 
extends a nearly level country." 

The Pilcomayo, La Plata River System. — How vast an expenditure of effort is 
sometimes requisite for settling even a secondary geographical problem is well 
shown by the list of failures which M. Thouar has drawn up in connection with 
the exploration of this right-hand tributary of the Paraguay. Between 1556, when 
Andres Munzo and all his soldiers were massacred on its banks by the Chinguduos, 
and 1882, when the great French explorer, Dr. Crevaux, fell a victim to the Tobas, 
fifteen attempts were made to follow its course either upwards from the mouth or 
downwards from its source ; and the Bolivian expedition of September 1882 and 
Dr. Fontana's were equally unsuccessful. Happily M. Thouar, under the auspices 
of the Bolivian Government, has, to a certain extent, been more fortunate, though 
he was not able to keep close to the line of the stream during the lower part of its 

Antiquity of Human Races. — After an elaborate survey of all the available 
evidence— and this is much more extensive than might be supposed — Professor J. 
Kollmann of Basel (Bale) states his conclusions as follows : — 1. The varieties of the 
human species in America exhibit, in the Diluvial period, the same faciaHmd cranial 
peculiarities as at the present day. They already bear the characteristics of Indians. 
2. Consequently man is not only a long-established guest in America, but he has 
possessed since the Diluvial period the same racial characteristics. 3. These 
characteristics must date from an earlier epoch. 4. They have not been altered by 


external environment. 5. Zoologically there is little probability of a future modi- 
fication of racial type. — Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie, 1884, Heft v. 

Otago. — Engineering (January 23) contains a plan of the port of Otago, New- 
Zealand ; and states that the Harbour Board appointed in 1874 had, up to 31st 
December 1883, expended .£446,239 on works, plant, and land in connection with 
the improvement scheme. Vessels of 18 feet draught can find their way to Dunedin 
Wharf by a course which, a few years ago, was partly dry at low water. 

Exploration of the Amberno River, Northern New Guinea. —At more than one 
point along the north coast of New Guinea, a great body of discoloured water and 
masses of floating timber indicate the embouchure of a large river. Of such rivers 
the Amberno is assumed to be the largest, owing to the greater distance from its 
mouth of any mountain-range, and the extent of level country which it presumably 
waters. Hitherto the few attempts which have been made to enter the river have 
failed owing mainly to the character of the coast, the formidable bar, and the broken 
water caused by the meeting of the river and the sea. 

The expedition contemplated last year by Mr. Wilfred Powell proposed to 
ascend this river as far as the great central range, and then to follow the course of 
the mountains to their supposed termination near < 'ape King William. The honour 
of the first ascent of the river has, however, to their great satisfaction, fallen to the 
Dutch, and we must not grudge it to them. In September 1883 Mr. Van Braam 
Morris, Eesident of Ternate, returning from a cruise to the eastward, discovered two 
great mouths to this river. The most easterly had only two fathoms of water on 
the bar, though there was a much greater depth inside, but there was no current, 
and no discoloration of the sea outside. This entrance was therefore supposed to 
be an old channel, now silted higher up. Another mouth was however found a 
little farther west, but still to the east of Point D'Urville. The steamer failed to 
make the entrance, but a channel, with a depth of water nowhere less than three 
fathoms, was found by her boats ; and, last July, as we learn from the first 
number for 1885 of the Bijdragen tot de Taal- Land- en Volkenkunde run Nedtr- 
landsch Indie, Mr. Van Braam Morris, in the steamer Havik, succeeded in passing 
the mouth of the river, and ascending as far as 2° 20' S., i.e. through more than a 
degree of latitude. On the 18th of July the first attempt to enter the river failed 
owing to the strength of the current — the Havik is of fifty horse-power nominal, 
and draws 10^ feet- — but she succeeded next day, after some difficulty, in finding 
the channel again. The width at the mouth was about half a mile, and the 
greatest depth 7 fathoms (five over two-thirds of the width) — the current about 
3 miles an hour. The banks were low and muddy. A few small villages and 
scattered houses were passed, the inhabitants of which had fled ; but at the village 
of Pauwi they were at last reassured, came on board after the interpreter had 
given himself as a hostage, and allowed themselves to be photographed. They were 
interested most of all by the cattle on board, though much alarmed till they found 
they were harmless. They closely resemble the inhabitants of Geelvink Bay, their 
jidakos and ornaments being identical, and they possess iron utensils, which they 
obtain from Kurudu, an island off the eastern shores of the bay, which they reach 
by an outlet of the Amberno. From Pauwi hills were visible to the S.S.E., 
about 20 miles distant. 

They anchored for the night (22d) at Morris Island, and the second day pro- 
ceeded at 8.30 A.M., when the fog lifted. The banks now became steeper, and in 
the afternoon they entered the hills which they had sighted the day before. The 
river diminished in width, the depth remaining at about 6 fathoms, and the wind- 
ings of the stream becoming very sharp. About 3 r.M., after passing to the west of an 


island, the current became much stronger, the river shallowed to 2.V fathoms, and the 
vessel, having shortened steam to look for a deeper channel, was driven upon a 
bank, and remained in some danger for two days, the crew bivouacking ashore. 
Fortunately no natives appeared. At this, the farthest point of the voyage, the 
Dutch arms were erected, and in the afternoon the downward voyage commenced, 
drifting before an anchor, for the strength of the current made steaming impossible, 
and at night two anchors barely kept the vessel stationary. On the 26th they 
proceeded, and met with some fierce-looking natives, armed with bows and 
arrows, who would not allow them to land, but performed a dance for them. 
Before approaching, these people poured water over their chests and stomachs ; 
an interesting fact, for a similar practice — pouring water over the head as a sign 
of peace- -has been observed on the south coast, a thousand miles away, and it is 
recorded by Cook as occurring at Malilolo in the New Hebrides. After a little 
barter they were persuaded to go on board. On their heads they wore a chaplet 
of pig's teeth and beads, or the hair was tied up and ornamented with cassowary 
feathers. They wore no jidakos, but instead a thin cord tightly wound some 
twenty times round the lower part of the body. In the lobe of the ear they 
carried small boxes of plaited sinnet, and had the septum of the nose pierced by 
a bone ornament. All the above customs and modes of ornamentation are dis- 
tinctly Papuan. The name of this village is given as Kukunduri, the tribe as 
Udambessu (Kundambesu), and the district Keresi (Kae'sri). At Mawa, a village 
they found deserted when they passed up, the inhabitants came forward with 
objects for barter, among others coco-nuts. No coco palms were visible, and the 
nuts were said to be brought from the west. The travellers were allowed to enter 
the village, but the women kept in the background. At Pauwi too the people 
were now more communicative. They mentioned that there were several villages 
in the neighbourhood, and that they were acquainted with the Tabirezen, a people 
who live to the eastward, but only accessible to them by the coast, as there is no 
way across the country. 

Mr. Morris says that the name Mamberan, by which the Amberno is also known, 
signifies "Great River." 1 From this he argues that there is no other great river in this 
region, and he asserts that it has only one embouchure ; but even if no great dis- 
coloration of the water is observed off the eastern shores of Geelvink Bay, it is 
pretty certain that there is a considerable discharge through the creeks in that 
direction. On one of these, the Kei River, which the natives say communicates with 
the Amberno, a village is built across the stream, implying an absence of bandjirs 
(" bore," or sudden swell of the river). 2 It has hitherto been supposed that the 
extensive tract of land enclosed in the angle of which Point D'Urville forms the 
apex, is in great part the delta of the Amberno, and this is not yet disproved. 
Mr. Morris is much disappointed at the size and navigable qualities of the river, 
and is perhaps disposed to minimize its importance. That the channel which the 
Havik ascended is the main channel is probable, and from the statement of the 
natives that no water-way exists to the eastward, we may possibly infer that it 
forms the eastern limit of the delta. 

Since the Papuans ordinarily build their houses on piles, it is supposed that the 
bulk of the population of the district lives in the sheltered lagoons and creeks 
rather than on the banks of the great stream, and that they only visit this tempor- 
arily for the sake of the sago which grows there. 

1 Mr. Van Hasselt, an accomplished Papuan .scholar, says the proper spelling is Mam- 
beraminu, meaning "the great water." 

- The recurrence of the name Kei, the name of a well-known group of islands off the south 
coast, is worth pointing out. 


At the highest point reached by the Havik, the stream was running at 4£ 
miles an hour ; the water was muddy and greyish, and the soil at the bottom 
black, staining the hands like coal. This recalls the fact that on the oppo- 
site (southern" coast, near the foot of the mountains, great bands of plumbago 
are found. Many veined pebbles of a sandstone formation were found on the 
island, suggesting, it was thought, that the river somewhat higher up cuts through 
a rocky barrier, though, as the river was some 50<» yards wide, its sources may still 
lie far in the interior of the island. As to this it may be noted that from off the 
eastern coast of Geelvink Bay, between 2° 30' and 3' 30* S. hit., high mountains are 
to be seen. The upper course of the river therefore not improbably trends to the 
east and south of these mountains. But the character of the inteiior here is abso- 
lutely a matter of conjecture. The island at this point is 4< » > miles across from north 
to south. From the Havifc's observations, it may be supposed that a high range will 
be found not more than 100 miles from the north coast, and we know that another 
is visible at about this distance from the sea on the south. It may therefore be 
conjectured that a high valley or table-land lies between ; — the source not only of 
the Amberno, but of other considerable rivers, which are known to debouch south- 
wards between the meridians of 136° and 138°. e. m. 

c. T. 

Papua or Papuwa : Origin of the Name. — J. G. F. Riedel writes to Professor 
V irchow {Ze&tschrift fur Ethnologic, l vs 4, Heft v.) that this name is, he believes, 
derived from the Set-rang or Ceram word hahua or fafua fungus of the Arenga 
saccharifera, the hair of the Papua children having a great likeness to this growth. 
The letters h and /are interchangeable in the Languages of the Moluccas (hatu, 
stone, in Serang ; vatu in Born, and other islands}, and the Malays who came to the 
Moluccas by Ternate and Bum, having no /, change this sound into p, Dutch vt ■ ' 
e.g., becoming p ■• 2 ; verzoeh i,persuken, etc. '' Resident" Riedel sent the Professor 
a specimen of the fungus. Before the arrival of Europeans in Indonesia, many 
Papuan children had been brought as slaves to Serang, and it was on Seranglao, or 
East Serang, that the Malays first came into contact with the race. 

Tahiti of To-day. — From a paper, with this title, by the Rev. A. Pearse, Raiatea, 
in the February number of The Chronicle of the London Missionary Society, -we 
extract the following : — Tahiti contains a motley population of 9551, — 6820 being 
natives of the island or of the Society group, 982 natives from almost every other 
island in the Pacific, 1343 Europeans of various nationalities (mostly traders, 
mechanics, and farmers), and 406 Chinese. The use of opium is spreading from the 
Chinese to the native women, and the French monopolist can afford to pay to the 
Government 75,000 francs per annum. In other respects the people are daily 
becoming more European in tastes and habits. Between 1^44 and l s 7s Tahiti was 
only a French protectorate ; but it has since become a French possession. Full 
freedom of worship is now enjoyed, and the French rule is generally mild and 
just. The island is well supplied with schools, and the Government encourages 
secular education. Protestants (who are ten to one as compared with the Roman 
('atholics among the native population; have eighteen churches with 2377 members ; 
Roman Catholics, ten churches and 200 members. There is a grand Roman Catholic 
Cathedral built by the Government in Papeete, the chief town. 

Circumnavigation. — The first volume of De Amezaga's voyage round the world 
(Viaggio di (%r cumnavigazione), performed during 1881-4, by the royal corvette 
Ca/racciolo, has just been issued by Forzani & Co., and contains the technical 
description of the expedition. 

Varieties of the Human Species. — Nature (February 7, 1885) contains a report of 
part of Professor W. H. Flowers Presidential Anniversary Address to the Anthro- 


pological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, January 27th. The following is 
the scheme of classification proposed by this able exponent of anthropological 
science : — 

I. Ethiopian or Negroid Races — Melanian or Black type : 

A. African or typical Negro. 

B. Hottentots and Bushmen. 

C. Oceanic Negroes or Melanesians. 

D. Negritos. 

II. Mongolian Races — Xanthous or Yellow type : 

A. Eskimo. 

B. Typical Mongolians : (a) Northern or Mongolo- Altaic group. 

(b) Southern group (China, Tibet, Burmah, 
G. Malay. 

D. Brown Polynesians, Malayo-Polynesians, Mahoris, Sawaioris or 


E. American Indians (if not raised to the rank of a fourth primary 


III. Caucasian or White Races : 

A. Xanthochroi or Blonde type, mostly in Northern Europe (Lapps 

and Finns a cross between this type and Mongoloid people). 

B. Melanchroi or Dark type, in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, 

South-Western Asia (Aryan, Semitic, and Hamitic families) ; 

Dravidians, in India ; probably Ainos, of Japan ; Maoutze, of 

China ; Egyptians, ancient and modern. 
The peculiar characteristics of the Australians Professor Flower is disposed to 
explain hypothetically by their being either a mixture of frizzly-haired Melanesians 
with a low form of Caucasian Melanchroi, or mainly the direct descendants of a very 
primitive type from which the frizzly-haired Negroes may be an offset. The broad 
outlines of this scheme of classification, he says, scarcely differ from that proposed 
by Cuvier nearly sixty years ago, and that the result of the enormous increase of our 
knowledge during that time has caused so little change is the best testimony to its 
being a truthful representation of the facts. 



As it is intended, in the critical department of this Journal, to supply henceforward 
a complete record of works bearing on Geographical subjects, it seems meanwhile 
desirable to preface the critical section of this first number with a short resume 
of works of the kind which have been published within the last twelvemonth. 

Asia. — The geography of South-Eastern Asia has recently attracted increased 
attention from two important causes : — 1st, The commercial question of the rival 
trade routes proposed to connect Yunnan and the neighbouring provinces with the 
sea ; and 2d, the political question raised by the policy of France in Tongking and 
the adjacent States of " Further India." 

Mr. A. R. Colquhoun's narrative of his adventurous journey Across Chryse, though 
hardly falling within our limit as to its date of appearance, has an explicit bearing on 
each of these not altogether distinct questions, and his promised account of previous 
and subsequent travel in the Shan States will probably be of considerable importance. 


Captain C. B. Norman's Tonkin; or France in the far East, gives a short topo- 
graphical description of the kingdom of Annam ; but his book consists chiefly of a 
history of French doings in those parts from the time of Louis xiv. and the early 
Jesuit Missions down to the present time. The tone of the book is strongly anti- 
French. Some excuse for this may perhaps be found in the markedly anti-English 
tone of the French officials, whose despatches, as quoted by Captain Norman, show 
that a persistent determination to create a rival power to British India is one of 
their chief motives of action. 

TungJcing, by W. Mesny, Major-General in the Chinese Army, is mainly a short 
rfoumd of the history of the country, showing that it has been, except at certain 
irregular intervals, a recognised dependency of China ever since the year 2500 b.c. — 
the writers aim being to justify the protest of China against the French annexation. 
The details are derived from native sources not readily accessible ; and the author 
promises a work on China, founded on his own experiences, which ought to be 
exceptionally interesting. 

M. Edmond Cotteau (Un touriate dans I 'extreme Orient), on his return from 
Siberia, whither he had been sent on a scientific mission from France, visited 
Tongking, and writes hopefully of the prospects of French settlers there and in 
Saigon, whence he also visited Angkor. His description of his travels in Japan 
shows him to be a witty and intelligent observer. 

In Tempi 'flephants, Mr. Carl Bock describes his ascent of the Menam, 

the great river of Siam, to its head-waters, the Meping. Hence he crossed over to 
Kiang Tsen, on the Mekong, but was prevented from penetrating farther to the 
north by reports of war between the Burmese Ngious or Shans and the tribes under 
Siamese sovereignty. Being under a promise to the Siamese Government, in return 
for assistance afforded him, to say nothing about political matters, he is not as 
communicative as we could wish in regard to the state of affairs on the frontier. 
Dr. NelS, writing from the Luang Prabang district, on the Lpper Mekong, speaks 
of a general movement southwards of the " Ho " and other tribes, whom he con- 
siders to be Chinese. Speaking generally, however, it would seem that emigration, 
carrying Siamese influence with it, is gradually spreading northwards and north- 
east, into Kiang Hung. This province, indeed, which extends east, like a wedge, 
between Siam and China proper, as far as the frontier of Annam, has, we believe, 
become definitely Siamese, and should therefore no longer be set down in the maps 
as belonging to Burmah. The value, in the interests of peace, of such a " buffer " 
between Burmah and the now, in a political sense, French province of Annam (whose 
frontier, Mr. Colquhoun states, does not extend west of 102' 30' E.), need hardly 
be pointed out. Mr. Bock gives some geographical notes in a short appendix, and 
usually describes the country along his route ; but he devotes more attention to the 
customs and habits of the people, and to his own adventures, which are amusing 
enough. On the question of trade we do not learn much from him, beyond some 
remarks on the considerable numbers of caravans trading with Yunnan to the north- 
east, and the Burmese Shan States to the north-west. Much valuable information, 
however, may be shortly expected from Mr. Holt Hallett, who has been surveying 
the country very thoroughly in various directions, usually from Zimme as a starting 
point, and with special reference to a trade route from British Burmah towards 
Yunnan. The line proposed by Mr. Bock, from Bangkok up the river to Raheng, 
some 300 miles, would rather act as a feeder than as a rival to this line. It is 
understood that, with a little encouragement from the Indian Government, the 
Siamese would gladly assist in the formation of a railway system which would bring 
VOL. I. E 


them into communication with British Burmah, if only to escape the alternative of 
a forced connection with a French system on the other side. 

Sir Richard Temple's Oriental Experience contains two geographical papers of 
value, on the Central Plateau of Asia and on the birthplace of the Mahrattas. 
beautifully illustrated. 

Mr. Charles Marvin's Region of the Eternal Fire gives an account of the petro- 
leum region of the Caspian, showing its great economical value, and the consequent 
accession of strength and increased facilities afforded to Russia for her advance 
towards Merv and Afghanistan. 

The Russians at Merv and Herat, by the same author, also deals with the 
Russian advance towards India, and with the causes of the great increase of the 
material strength of Russia along the Persian and Afghan frontier. Much of the 
book is from Russian sources, and contains some pungent criticism by Russian 
officers on recent campaigns of the Indian army. It also reprints M. Lessar's 
account of his remarkable survey of the country between Askahad and Herat, show- 
ing the non-existence, so far westward, of the supposed lofty Paropamisan barrier. 

Savage Svanetia, by Mr. Clive Philipps-Wolley, is an account of a shooting 
expedition in the wild and, even by the Russians, little-known mountain district 
about the head-waters of the Ingour and Rion rivers. The book contains a good 
deal of curious matter relating to the life and habits of this isolated people, and also 
as to the nature of their country, one of the last districts of the Caucasus conquered 
by the Russians. 

M. Vamb^ry's Life and Adventures, besides their great autobiographical in- 
terest, include much of the famous Central Asia journey, the whole cast in a form 
very attractive to the general reader. 

The River of Golden Sand, by the late Captain Gill, condensed by E. C. Baber, 
with memoir and introductory essay by Colonel Yule, is in every way a valuable 
book. The original narrative bears condensation, and it could not have been done 
by more competent hands than Mr. Babels. Colonel Yule's essay on the Tibeto- 
Chinese river system is distinguished by its lucidity, judgment, and masteiy of 
the subject ; and his singularly felicitous and graceful biographical notice of his 
friend would alone make the book worth having. 

In the Himalayas and the Indian Plains, by Miss Gordon Cumming, with- 
out being a contribution to geography, contains some picturesque descriptions of 
Himalayan scenery, and varied notes on popular habits and customs. 

The Accursed Land, etc., by Colonel Colvile, already known by his enter- 
prising trip to Morocco, describes a hurried but successful attempt to survey the 
Wady Arabah from the head of the Gulf of Akabah, in connection with the Jordan 
Valley Canal scheme. The character of the country and the conditions of the 
problem are very clearly pictured. 

Among other records of work or exploration in Asia, may be mentioned the 
discovery or measurement of some fresh peaks in the Himalayas, probably higher 
than Mount Everest, by Mr. W. Graham ; Mr. M'Xair's interesting visit to 
Kafiristan ; and a very able paper on Asia Minor in the Royal Geographical Society's 
Proceedings for June by Sir Charles Wilson. The Russian Pamir Expedition of 
1883, and Dr. Regel's visit to Darwaz and Shughnan, throwing light on various 
disputed points of topography, are noticed in the Royal Gera^iicaogl Society's 
Proceedings for March. 

Travels in the Eeist, by Prince Rudolph of Austria, follows only the beaten 


track of the tourist on the Nile and in Palestine, with some notice of the less 
familiar Jordan valley between the Dead Sea and Gennesareth. The illustrations 
are above the average. 

Oceania. — The Wreck of the Xisero, by W. Bradley, describes the landing on the 
west coast of Sumatra, about 100 miles from its north extremity, of the shipwrecked 
crew, and their subsequent march to Tenom and residence a short distance in the 
interior. Their adventures are well and simply told, but the book contains little 
topographical information. 

Aper?ii Politique et Economique sur les Colonies Neerlandais, s avx Indes 
Orientates, par M. Joseph Jooris, Ministre Resident de S. M. le Roi des Beiges, 
is a useful resume' of historical events, and of the economical history of these 
colonies, describing the transition, cautiously and on the whole ably conducted, from 
the exclusive and oppressive regime, no longer tenable, of the seventeenth century, 
to the comparatively liberal but as yet unremunerative system of the present day. 

Among the latest voyages in the Pacific is that of Mr. Wilfred Powell, whose 
Wanderings in a Wild Country records some important original surveys and 
observations of interest in New Britain. This enterprising traveller has also 
touched at points on the north coast of New Guinea, unvisited by any other Euro- 
pean. His proposed journey of exploration, by way of the Amberno River, into 
the interior of New Guinea, has unfortunately been postponed for want of funds. 
Some short journeys have been made into the interior of the Eastern Peninsula 
by the missionaries, Messrs. Lawes and Chalmers, and by parties organised in 
Australia. 1 

The Voyage of the Wanderer (Lambert) contains some interesting, if super- 
ficial, notes on Tonga, the Paumotu, Tahiti, and Leeward groups. 

Mr. Alfred St. Johnston, in Camping among Cannibals, has some pleasant 
notices of the people of Tonga and Samoa, and his march across the great island of 
Viti Levu describes country seldom visited. 

The Western Pacific, by Mr. Walter Coote, has some useful notes on the 
Melanesian group. 

Samoa, by Dr. George Turner, is the result of many years' acquaintance 
with his subject. It deals entirely with the people, — their myths, traditions, 
religious and social customs, and to the comparative mythologist is a work of very 
great value. 

Les Polynesians, leurs Migrations, leur Origine, leur Langage, par le Dr. 
A. Lesson, tome iv. This voluminous work, now completed, though mainly occu- 
pied with ethnological speculation, touches geography at several points. The writer's 
theory, briefly, is that the Polynesian race originated in New Zealand, and spread 
thence throughout the Pacific. The book contains much ingenious speculation, 
based on geographical and linguistic considerations, on the physical character of the 
peoples, on myths and traditions, but resting not unfrequently, it must be 
admitted, on slender foundations or mistaken premises. 

The knowledge and information shown is very great for the time when Lesson 
wrote, but the editor has not always brought it up to date ; and though some of 
the arguments are weighty, we believe we are fully justified in regarding the case 

1 The Royal Geographical Societtfs Proceedings for April contains a summary, by Mr. 
Coutts Trotter, of our present knowledge of the whole island. 


as not proven. There is a great amount of repetition throughout, lengthening the 
book needlessly. 

Kritisch Overzicht der reizen naar Nederlandsch Niemo Guiyiea, in de Jaren 
1879-82, by Mr. Robide" Van der Aa, is a continuation of his large volume 
of Reizen, published in 1879. This accomplished author has long made a special 
study of New Guinea geography, and his book — dealing, however, only with the 
western half of the island — is the fullest and best authority on the subject. 

Mr. H. 0. Forbes's exploration of " Timor Laut," and rectification of the map 
of that group, is worth recording. (See Proceedings Royal Geographical Society, 
March 1884). 

America. — The Cruise of the Falcon, by E. F. Knight, describes a voyage 
in an eighteen-ton yacht to Buenos Aires, and up the Parana and Paraguay rivers 
to Asuncion ; also a land journey via Cordoba to Tucuman, and some of the 
wilder districts in the north-west of the Argentine Republic. Perhaps the most 
remarkable spot visited, however, was the island of Trinidad, off the Brazilian 
coast, in 20° 30' S. and 11° 49' W., with its accumulation of the wrecks of ages, and 
its mysterious dead forests — killed, the writer thought, by recent volcanic action ; 
but they were seen in the same condition by Ross's expedition in 1839. 

Across the Pampas and the Andes, by R. Crawford, a journey undertaken 
in 1871, for the purpose of surveying a line of railway from Buenos Aires to Chile. 
An appendix gives some information as to the passes leading over the Andes into 
Chile, and on the present state of the Argentine railways. 

Among the Indians of Guiana, by Everard Im Thurn, contains a mass 
of information, carefully collected by a competent observer, on the relations of the 
races inhabiting the country, on their manners, customs, and beliefs. The general 
appearance of the country is illustrated by descriptions of the more typical vegeta- 
tion and of the fauna, and there is a detailed description, with illustrations, of the 
Kaieteur Falls. The author has since ascended the strange mountain Roraima, on 
the borders of British Guiana, latitude 5° 30' N. and longitude 60° 45' W., the 
lower slopes of which, with suggestions for an ascent, were described by Mr. H. 
Whitely in the Royal Geograx>hical Society's Proceedings for August. 

The increased attention lately given to Mexico by emigrants and speculators 
has produced a number of books on the country, chiefly by Americans : — 

Mr. F. A. Obe^s Travels in Mexico professes. to give a complete description 
of the country, including its history and social condition, past and present, its 
geography and antiquities. There is a good deal of information in the book, though 
not very well condensed ; the copious illustrations, especially of architectural and 
other remains, add much to its value. 

Mr. W. H. Bishop's Old Mexico and her Lost Provinces seems the work of a 
more practised litterateur. The vast extent of the provinces lost by Mexico to the 
United States, extending from Texas to California inclusive, is indicated on a map. 
The salient features of society, both in the old and new countries, are well described, 
and there are some opportune remarks on commercial and industrial prospects. 
This volume, like the preceding, is copiously supplied with effective and evidently 
cheap illustrations. 

Mexico To-day, by Mr. T. U. Brocklehurst, an English traveller, may also 
be mentioned as a well and pleasantly written description of matters which 
attract the intelligent observer. The volume contains numerous illustrations of 
archaeological interest. 


Two guidebooks to Mexico may also be mentioned, one by Leonidas Le Cenci 
Hamilton, published in London, and the other (Appleton's Guide, Second Edition) 
by Alfred R. Conkling. The former has no map, the latter only a very slight sketch. 

Granite Crags, by Miss Gordon Gumming, is an eloquent description of the 
beauties of the Yosemite Valley, -where the author made a lengthened stay. 

Hayti, or the Black Rqmblic, by Sir Spenser St. John, K.C.M.G., is the 
fruit of several years' residence in the island as Consul-general. Besides a resume 
of its history, the writer gives a full description of the people from a social and 
political point of view. His verdict is that they are steadily retrograding, owing to 
the discouragement of the white element (Whites are forbidden to hold land) and 
consequent breeding back to the Negro type. There is a curious chapter on the 
still widely prevalent Vaudoux (African) religion, with its undoubted tendency to 


Europe. By F. TV. Rcdler, F.G.S., and George G. Chisholm, B.Sc, Edited by 
Sir Andrew C. Ramsay, LL.D., F.R.S., with Ethnological Appendix by 
A. H. Keaxe, M.A.I., forming the last volume of Stanford's Compendium 
of Geography and Travel, based on Hellwald's Die Erde und Hire Vblker. 
London : Edward Stanford, 55 Charing Cross, S.TV. 1885. Pp. xviii., 618. 
Published price, £l, Is. 

It is by a happy accident that this volume appears first on our list of new books. 
Though the last, it is not in importance the least of the series to which it belongs. The 
very fact that we all know, or are presumed to know, more about our own continent 
than about the others, renders the task of description all the more difficult and 
delicate. By the conditions of their work it is almost impossible to apportion 
praise or blame to the several writers whose names appear on the title-page, but in 
whatever measure they have contributed to the final result they must be con- 
gratulated on the general success of their co-operation. If it be to Mr. Rudler, as 
seems probable, that we are mainly indebted for the sketch of the geological 
history of the continent, which forms the first section of the work, he deserves no 
small credit, for it would not be easy to find the leading facts more lucidly arranged 
and illustrated. That the statistical portion was intrusted to Mr. Chisholm will 
appear, to those who know him, only a fitting recognition of his highly-trained 
faculty of accuracy. The ethnological appendix, by Professor Keane, would do well 
to be expanded and printed in a little handbook by itself, or along with the 
corresponding appendices from the companion volumes ; his work is so con- 
scientious that we never read any of his expositions of his favourite subject without 
regretting that our country has, in its abodes of learning, no chamber of study and 
chair of teaching where such a man would be free to devote his energies exclusively 
to that which he loves best and can do best without having to drudge at translations 
of German and task-work for the publishers. Here and there in the volume we 
have observed a few misprints or oversights ; thus, Musjik is quite misleading as a 
representation of the Russian word for peasant, which can best be rendered to the 
English eye by Muzhik or Moozheek ; Kriwoi Rog is a survival from the German ; 
Pituyse, on p. 265, should be Pityuse. At p. 456 the Established Church of Scot- 

1 Some of the volumes here noticed belong to 1884, and would naturally have appeared 
in our brief resume for that year; an exception has been made in their favour, because the 
publishers sent them for review. 


land is omitted, while the Free Cburch and the United Presbyterian are mentioned. 
That the characterisation of the peoples is due to Hellwald, and not to his English 
adapters, ought to be especially remembered in the case of the Hungarians or 
Magyars, who will read some of the statements as we read those of Max O'Rell. 
On the other hand, the sketch of the Dutch is done with true appreciation of their 
many excellent qualities. We hope that the publisher will issue a cheaper edition 
of the whole series of volumes : they deserve to be much more popular than they 
have any chance of being at their present price. "When he does so, let him alto- 
gether cancel a number of the woodcuts or supply their place with others which 
serve some better purpose than the mere exclusion of letterpress. The maps are 
good illustrations or light-givers to the work ; the illustrations so-called are some- 
times darkness visible. Compared with those which appear in the volumes of 
M. Reclus's Geographic Universelle, for example, they are poor indeed. 

The Clyde. By James Deas, C.E., Clyde Navigation Engineer, Glasgow. 
Wilson & M'Cormack, St. Vincent Street. 1884. Pp.29. 

With the exception of one page and a half of historical and descriptive matter, 
this reprint from The Shipping World, twenty-nine octavo pages in all, is a slight 
but interesting monograph, showing, with the aid of statistical tables, that the world 
is right in connecting the wonderful progress of Glasgow, during the last hundred 
years, with the conversion of the Clyde below Glasgow Bridge from a shallow river 
into a deep navigable canal. Mr. Deas writes : — " The bed of the river from Glasgow 
to Port-Glasgow is now virtually level throughout." The illustrations are unim- 
portant, — a view of the Broomielaw, and the like, and a chart of the river showing 
the sites of the shipbuilding yards, but destitute of figures of depth. The style 
is always lucid, though at times inflated. One interesting fact is made clear at 
pp. 9, 10, viz., that by dredging out the incline of an estuary, the levels at the upper 
end of it are changed, the high-water level being raised aud the low-water level being 
lowered. It would be well if Mr. Deas, with his professional knowledge and access 
to original documents, were to give us a study of the regime of the river in its entirety, 
more worthy in quantity and scope of the simple but sufficient title, The Clyde. 

Murray's Handbook for Travellers in Greece, the Ionian Islands, the Islands of the 
Egean, Crete, Albania, Thessaly, and Macedonia. Fifth Edition. Thoroughly 
revised and corrected. Two volumes. 1884. Published price, 24s. 

The last edition was published in 1872 in one volume. It is an open secret, and 
we might indeed gather the fact from the light and delicate touches, that on the 
occasion of this revision Athene has been represented by one of her own sex, and that 
a long residence in the capital of Greece has specially fitted for the task a lady 
equally at home in the Italian, German, and Greek languages — the accomplished 
daughter of an accomplished father. Thoroughly to appreciate the excellence of 
these volumes it is necessary to have known Athens thirty years ago, and to have 
visited it for a second time last year. It is as impossible to read a handbook for 
travellers continuously from the first to the last page as to read a cyclopaedia, but 
an idea of the value of such a book can be gathered by judicious reference to a score 
of chapters or sections, and a consideration of the plan which has been adopted. 
The compiler has carefully picked up the crumbs that have fallen from her prede- 
cessors in the general work, and from the specialists who have devoted themselves to 
one particular portion — from Pausanias, the earliest antiquarian tourist on record, 
to Leake, Wordsworth, Schliemann, Kaupert, Dorfield, Curtius, and Adler. As 


usual, the Germans have done the greater part of the work that has been done, and 
the Greeks have done the least, or in fact none at all. Those who have already paid 
their visit to Greece (and it does not happen to many to repeat the experience) 
have reason to regret that they had not the advantage of this handbook as their 
guide, companion, and friend, although possibly they may have had the privilege, 
now no longer possible, of coming upon the fair compiler in the midst of her labours. 
The advance of knowledge about Greece, and the general progress of that country, 
have, during the last decade, been so great that the fourth edition, without any reflec- 
tion on Sir George Bowen, left much to be desired ; and, as far as we can judge, the 
fifth edition at this moment leaves little to be desired, though in another lustrum 
the march of events and the excavator's spade will have left this behind also, but 
not to so great a degree. 

As was to be expected, Athens, with its environs, occupies nearly one-third of 
the whole work, and nowhere else has it ever been so fully set before the English 
reader. It had been the fashion to leave small collections of antiquities scattered 
in different parts of the city, or even kingdom, but gravitation of particles is now 
commencing towards central museums. Schliemann's discoveries at Mykene are 
stored in their own museum : many of the smaller depots in Athens have been 
absorbed, or are under process of absorption ; though, alas ! we fear that the magni- 
ficent monuments of Olympia will remain in a local museum, and therefore unseen 
except by a very few. So far is Athens still behind the ordinary requirements of 
culture that, until the appearance of this guidebook, there was no catalogue of the 
contents of any museum available to the student. The obliging and accomplished 
possessors were ready to conduct strangers over the collections, and to give life to 
the dead masses ; but it is fresh and pleasant to read the details here supplied. 
The Government of Greece is exceedingly inert, impecunious, and unsympathetic ; 
what has been done has been generally done at the expense of enthusiastic foreigners. 
Thus the Venetian tower has disappeared from the Acropolis at the expense of 
Schliemann, who also excavated Mykene 1 at his own cost, and took nothing. 
Olympia has been excavated by means of funds provided by Prussia. The Areh.-eo- 
logical Society of Athens is supposed to be excavating at Eleusis, but nothing is 
known as to its proceedings. There is virgin soil in every quarter, and the islands 
have lately supplied most interesting contributions, and may prove an almost 
inexhaustible quarry. 

The many vicissitudes through which the great city has passed are faithfully 
recorded in the first volume, from the time of Theseus to the time of King George. 
The description of the monuments which still give to Athens a glory unequalled in 
the world is most full and fascinating. Ancient Rome has been crushed and 
buried by the barbarous utilitarianism of the builders of the mediaeval city ; the 
same fate has befallen Constantinople ; Carthage, Alexandria, Antioch, Syracuse, 
and other great cities of antiquity have been entirely or partially destroyed ; but 
the city of Athene has preserved to the present day its ancient outlines, and well 
deserves the sympathetic treatment which it has here received. 

Other well-known spots in Greece have been equally favoured. Delos, Dodona, 
and Delphi, though their fame and importance have long since passed away, are 
brought back to life in these pages. The latest and best authorities are quoted in 
the accounts of Olympia and Mykene : it would be worth the voyage from Patras 
to Katakolo by steamer, and the short journey inland, to see the newly-found statue 
of Hermes, with the child Dionysus on his arm, which was described by Pausanias 
as the work of Praxiteles, but had disappeared for centuries. Thebes, the solitary 
temple at Bassae, Corinth, Tanagra with its figurines, and the mines of Laurium, 
have each and all a sufficient and agreeable description. Great attention has been 


paid to topographical details. In the general introduction, the architecture, lan- 
guage, geology, history, and ethnology of Greece and the Greek people are 
sufficiently noticed. The description of the island of Crete is remarkably full, and, 
we believe, quite unique of its kind. 

We cannot too highly approve of the continuous pagination throughout the two 
volumes, which greatly lessens the chance of misquotation, and of the presence of a 
complete index of the whole work in each volume. And we would notice one other 
negative excellency in the absence of such common-form expressions as the " most 
glorious view in the world," " the most magnificent object of antiquity," which flow 
so readily from the pen of the " single country " critic, who has seen little of the 
world beyond the limits of the particular corpus vile on which he is dilating. Still 
if any view be entitled to such praise, it is the one which meets the eye from the top 
of Pentelicus, or from the steps of the temple of the Unwinged Victory on the 
Acropolis, where old jEgeus stood, looked, and died. If any survival of past ages 
may justly be called magnificent, it is the Parthenon, unrivalled in its decay. The 
compiler of this graceful handbook felt that it was not necessary to say that which 
men of ail nations and all time admit. 

Annuario Statistico Italiano, Anno 1884. Roma, Tipografia Eredie Botta. 

This volume of more than 750 pages is a striking proof of the energy with which 
the Statistical Department of the Italian Ministry of Agriculture, Industry, and 
Commerce is conducted. Here we have accessible, with the least possible trouble, 
the main results of all the statistical inquiries instituted by the Government : topo- 
graphy and hydrography, climatology, population, political elections, commerce, 
navigation, mercantile marine, education, finance, banks, the army, the navy, sanitary 
statistics, live-stock, mineral productions, prices of food, and, in short, nearly all 
the aspects or departments of national activity are represented in clear and intelli- 
gible digests. Italy is a young nation, and Great Britain an old one ; Italy is poor 
and Great Britain is rich ; and yet it appears that Italy can do what we cannot 
afford to do — provide her own citizens and the world with a ready means of estimat- 
ing her position and progress. We publish no end of blue-books and Government 
reports of one kind and another ; but in various ways we take care they shall be of 
as little use as possible. Is it too much to hope that even we may by and by have 
a General Office of Statistics, to collect, in serviceable form, the large totals with 
which the student of comparative sociology is most concerned ] When such a con- 
summation has been reached, the head of the new department will do well to con- 
sider what has been accomplished by Professor Luigi Bodio, his Italian predecessor. 

Sketches in Spain from Nature, Art, and Life. By John Lomas. Edinburgh : 
Adam & Charles Black, 1884. Pp. 417. Published price, 10s. 6d. 

Who or what Mr. Lomas is we do not know ; but he has produced a volume 
on Spain, which, while treating for the most part only of the familiar cities of the 
grand tour — San Sebastian, Burgos, Valladolid, Avila, Madrid, and so on— stands, 
if we may use the expression, head and shoulders above the average tourist's record, 
with its hash of guidebook erudition and frivolous remark. In nearly every page 
there is something to show that he has looked with his own eyes, and exercised his 
own judgment and taste. And if his attention is largely occupied with Art and 
Life, he has a right also to print Nature on his title-page ; as witness the following : 
" Dull — unredeemably dull — is this great plain of Castile for a railway journey. 
But to put under one's feet it is just delicious, with its short crisp turf, its exhilar- 


ating air, its clearly defined distances, its undulating sweeps of hillside, that remind 
one of Sussex Downs, and the ever-changing lights and shadows that sweep across 
it. And then the flocks of sheep, with their tinkling bells, the birds not yet hushed 
by winter, the little groups of shepherds, with their fluttering mantas, and pictur- 
esque broad-brimmed hats, and their hearty 'Vaya usted con Dios, caballero!' 
give just the contrasting life and cheerfulness that one wants." The chapter on 
( ribraltar and Tangiers might almost have been spared, if it were not that we cannot 
have too often brought before the English reader the hideous facts of Morocco life, 
in the hope that by and by a sense of shame may lead us as a nation to use some 
of the influence which we undoubtedly possess over the Sultan, to mitigate, if we 
cannot abolish, the horrors and abominations of his festering prisons. It is not only 
the ruined harbour of Tangiers that is a monument of our national selfishness. 
Tclemsin, on page 262, should of course be Telemsin. We hope Mr. Loinas will 
yet go further afield in the Peninsula. 

Throw/]/ Masai Land: A Journey of Exploration among the Snow-clad Volcanic 
Mountains and Strange Tribes of Eastern Equatorial Africa ; being the Narrative 
of the Royal Geographical Society's Expedition to Mount Kenia and Lake 
Victoria Nyanza, 1883-1884. By Joseph Thomson, F.R.G.S., Hon. Mem. 
Scottish Geographical Society, Leader of the Expedition. London, 1885. 
Pp. xii., 580, Index. Published price, ,£1, Is. 

Through Masai Land is the title which Mr. Joseph Thomson has chosen for 
the narrative of his recent most successful journey from Mombasa to the Victoria 
Nyanza, by way of Kilimanjaro and Kenia. The appearance of the book has been 
awaited with no little interest and curiosity ; and it may be said at once that, alike 
as a record of first-hand discovery and as a story of thrilling adventure, it betters 
even the high expectations formed of it. No more notable piece of purely geo - 
graphical work than is described in these pages has been done since Mr. Stanley's 
first exploration of the Congo basin ; and as regards the fresh and unexpected light 
which it has thrown on problems of African geology and ethnography, it would be 
difficult to exaggerate its importance. In brief, the volume amply justifies — were 
justification needed — the selection of this young Scotsman as among the first to be 
placed on the roll of the honorary members of the Scottish Geographical Society. 
Of the literary qualities of the work it is also possible to speak in decided terms of 
praise. Mr. Thomson writes, as he marches, with buoyancy and energy. For a 
certain " lop-sidedness " in the narrative he is probably not mainly responsible. 
We are carried more than half-way through the volume before we lose sight of 
Kilimanjaro and a neighbourhood with which the journeys of previous travellers 
have rendered us comparatively familiar. The later movements of the expedition, 
over ground of exceptional interest, and in great part never before trodden by a 
European foot, have the air of being more hurriedly recorded. Publishers' reasons 
of haste and of space probably explain this ; and also the more regrettable fact that 
Mr. Thomson has been compelled to omit the chapters he had intended to write on 
the "commercial aspects of the expedition," the "game of the country," and "the 
geology of Masai Land," which, however, he promises will appear in a future edition. 
It may be remembered that the expedition — equipped by the Royal Geographical 
Society, which has voted first and last the sum of £3000 to meet the expenses — had, 
as its primary object, to ascertain " if a practicable direct route for European travellers 
exists through the Masai country from any one of the East African ports to Victoria 
Nyanza, and to examine Mount Kenia." Mr. Thomson's choice of Mombasa as a 
starting-point has been vindicated by the results. One marked advantage it 


possesses over the other Swahili ports, from whence travellers have set out to the 
interior — behind it there is neither the broad belt of low-lying and pestiferous 
coast-land, nor the steep mountain scarp, which have wrecked so many promising 
expeditions before they reached the great plateau region, where the work of explo- 
ration actually begins. This is strongly insisted upon by Mr. Thomson ; and the 
importance that attaches to the question of the easiest and safest line of attack on 
the central lake region of Africa is such that we may quote part of his retrospective 
survey of the country between Kilimanjaro and the coast : — 

" We have met," he says, "with no pestilential coast region, and, though travel- 
ling in the height of the wet season, we have found no swamps or marshes. On the 
contrary, we suffer hardships for want of water, as we travel upon the whole a sin- 
gularly arid region. Neither have we been called upon to ascend any plateau 
escarpment or cross any mountain-range. A gentle rise, not noticeable to the eye, 
has carried us over a smooth or slightly undulating country culminating at Taneta 
in a height of 2350 feet. We have crossed, it is true, a narrow low-lying area close 
to the coast, and made a sudden ascent of some 700 feet to Rabai ; but this is in no 
sense comparable to the features described further south." 

In point of fact the want of water constitutes the only serious physical difficulty 
to be encountered in a march from Mombasa to the Nile lakes, until the great folds 
of mountains enclosing the basin of the Victoria Nyanza are reached. An obstacle 
of another and more formidable kind has, however, to be overcome ; the trader's 
route from Kilimanjaro to Lake Baringo passes through almost the whole length of 
the Masai country. No previous traveller has been able to do more than penetrate 
a little way inside one or other of the " doors " of this robbers' reserve. The crowning 
merit of Mr. Thomson's remarkable journey is that, by a happy combination of tact 
and resolution and good luck, he was enabled, with a minimum of bloodshed and 
friction, to run the gauntlet of the Masai spears, and to reach in safety the base of 
Mount Kenia and the western margin of the Victoria Nyanza. In Mr. Thomson's 
notes on Masai manners and customs there is ethnographical spoil of great richness 
and interest. The tribe, as he says, is one of the most singular in the African 
continent, or, for that matter, in any continent ; it is also one of the most 
formidable and unpleasant, at least from the point of view of the explorer. Of 
more strictly geographical interest are the physical features of the Masai country, 
now revealed for the first time ; these are as strange and enigmatical as the features 
of the race. We have here a district in which the evidences of volcanic energy are 
more marked, more recent, and more abundant than in any other part of the African 
continent. To say nothing of the twin snow-crowned giants, Kilimanjaro and 
Kenia, there are isolated peaks scattered all over the region — the cinder-heaps of 
volcanic fires that, speaking geologically, have only recently gone out. Thermal 
springs, steam vents, and other traces of plutonic energy, not yet extinct, abound ; 
but most noteworthy among Mr. Thomson's discoveries is that of the " meridional 
trough," marking a grand fault or bine of subsidence in this part of the African con- 
tinent. This depression, sharply marked on the east and west by parallel lines of 
escarpment, has been followed by our traveller from the latitude of Kilimanjaro to 
1° north of the Equator, and the positions and outlines of its chains of isolated lakes 
— Navaisha, El-Meteita, Nakuro, and Baringo — have been clearly laid down. Its 
limits southward and northward have yet to be determined. It is the characteristic 
of a pioneer's work that he raises more fresh problems than he sets at rest. 
Thus the light which Mr. Thomson throws on the geology and natural history of 
Masai Land, and on the water-system of east Central Africa, the reports he collected 
regarding the unvisited salt lake, Samburu, and a great fresh-water basin lying to 
the west of it, and the particulars supplied concerning the wonderful rock caves 


of Elgon, only whet the desire to learn more. .'Setting out from Mombasa on the 
15th of March 1883, driven back to his base in the beginning of the following June, 
by Masai hostility and want of supplies, Mr. Thomson had successfully completed 
his great land journey and more than fulfilled the task committed to him by the 
Royal Geographical Society by the 25th of May last year. He has lost neither 
his time nor his labour ; and the least that stay-at-home geographers can do is to 
warmly commend him and his book to the public. 

In the Trades, the Tropics, and the Roaring Fortius. By Lady Brassey. I. . 
mans, Green & Co., 1885. Pp. 520, Index. Published price, £1, Is. 

This is another of those pleasantly written, profusely illustrated, and altogether 
attractive volumes, which her readers now know to expect from Lady Brassey. 
The picture-mounted maps are very pretty combinations of the work of the carto- 
grapher and the artist. Lady Brassey tells how she sailed from England to 
Madeira, and thence to Trinidad ; how she was charmed with the marvellous plant- 
life of the island, and shuddered as she crossed the hideous-looking Pitch Lake ; 
how she touched at La Guayra, and travelled to Caracas by the strangely sinuous 
railway route ; how she crossed the island of Jamaica from Spanish Town to Ocho 
Eios Bay ; how she visited the coral reefs and caverns of the Bahamas ; how she 
saw all the sights of Bermuda from Walsingham Cave to Massa Bertram's collection 
of Bermudian curiosities ; and how she made her way home across the Sargasso 
Sea to the Azores and England. And so much of the freshness of her personal 
enjoyment is preserved throughout the whole that the reader is lured on even over 
ground which he already knows. It is, perhaps, a pity that in her notice of the 
Sargasso Sea, she did not take the trouble to give her readers a little more of the 
results of recent research, and find out the recognised names of the plants dis- 
tinguished " for the moment" as Sargassum uvoides, etc. The "Roaring Forties" 
is a term usually restricted by seamen and meteorologists to the Southern Hemi- 
sphere. Our readers will find an explanation in Mr. Buchan's article " Meteorology " 
in the Encydopaidia Britannica, vol. xvi. p. 140. 

A Lady's Ride Across Spanish Honduras. By Maria Soltera. With Illustrations. 
William Blackwood & Sons, 1884. Pp. 320. No Index. 

The lady who writes under the nom de plume of Maria Soltera here recounts 
the adventures into which she was led between June and October 1881, by trusting 
to the pamphlets and promises of a certain Dr. Pope, an agent of the Honduras 
Government. He engaged her to be schoolmistress to a colony he had established 
at San Pedro Sula, and failed to give her warning that the whole enterprise had 
ended in smoke. There is not much geography in the volume ; but the sketches of 
places along the route, though slight, are well done, and possess a certain additional 
value from the fact that books on Spanish Honduras are not very common. Land- 
ing at Amapala, Maria Soltera took boat to the custom-house at Aceitufia, and 
thence travelled right across the country by Goascaron, Arimesine, and San Juan 
del Norte, across the San Juan river, by Comayagua (where she visited the bishop), 
across the Rio Blanco, by Santa Yzabel, Maniobar, Coalcar, San Pedro Sula (where 
her worst fears in regard to her contract with Dr. Pope were realised), Santa Cruz, 
Vera Cruz, Potrerillos, and Puerto Cortez. It seems a pity that a book otherwise 
so well "got up" should not be provided with even a route map, especially as 
most of the places mentioned are not to be found in an ordinary atlas. The 
number of interesting particulars scattered throughout the narrative is great 


enough to justify an index. The following passages show the writer's style, and 
are worth reprinting here : — 

" Acapplco is the one of the Mexican ports at which we touched on our way down 
the coast, of which I shall ever retain a pleasant memory. We arrived in its lovely 
harbour in the early morning ; and the sight of the picturesque little town, over the 
red roofs of which the thin veil of the mists was slowly clearing itself away, reminded 
me of the face of a friend determined to wear a smile. Its situation between two 
irregular and projecting tongues of land, with the background gradually widening 
and rising towards the hills, invests it with an air of coziness, and of being, at the 
same time, thoroughly well protected. 

"A few trees, dotted about in all the beauty of imprecision, serve to relieve the 
whole landscape from the appearance of aridity so common to the majority of sea- 
board towns. Several broken rocks of peculiarly vivid colour jut out like an 
advanced guard to the right of a long pier at the entrance, and upon this pier the 
natives, in full costume or in little costume, stand out in pleasing relief. Add to 
these the bright-coloured fruit and fish, lying in baskets of every shape and elegant 
texture, shrouded partially in grand green leaves, which of themselves suggest the 
idea of sheltering trees. Not overlooking, either, the delicate shell-work held up 
for sale in the hands of the loveliest female peasantry of the world ; the wonderful 
flowers ; the boats covered with every variety of gay awning, with the Mexican flag 
at their prow, dancing here and there on the liquid emerald of the sea. 

" Puerto Cortez is not much better than a sandy swamp, only waiting an oppor- 
tunity to slip into the sea and be lost for ever as a human dwelling-place. Its only 
sight is at the shed which forms the terminus of the railway communication between 
it and San Pedro Sula. There, piled up in rust and dust, are to be seen heaps of 
material imported to form the railway of Honduras. Bolts, tires, wheels, rails, 
chains, and various other of the material necessary to make a railway, are to be 
found piled up in profusion in this place ; and the Hondurian points at it with a 
kind of grim delight as he tells you that thousands of pounds are rotting there. 

" Let us hope that this waste is only temporary. Late letters inform me that Dr. 
Fritz Gartner and Mr. Shears, American citizens, have entered into a contract with 
the Government of Honduras for the navigation of the Ulua River'and its tributaries 
the Venta and the Blanco. This accomplished, the reconstruction of the railway is 
sure to follow." 

Timbuktu, Beise (lurch Marokko, die Sahara unci den Sudan. Von Dr. Oskar 
Lexz. Leipzig : F. A. Brockhaus. 1884. Two vols. Pp. xvi. 430, x. 488. 
Index. Published price, £1, 4s. (Messrs. Williams & Norgate.) 

This is the complete narrative of the journey which Dr. Lenz performed between 
November 1879 and November 18S0, a brief outline of which was one of the most 
valuable papers in the Journal of the Berlin Geographical Society in 1881. In the 
north of Morocco, he passed through a well-known country from Tangiers to Fez 
(Faz), from Fez by Mequinez (Miknaza) to Rabat, and from Rabat to Morocco 
(Marrakesh) ; but, striking south from the capital, he not only skirted the northern 
flanks of the Atlas, as several travellers had done before him, but succeeded in 
crossing the range and descending into the district known as Wad Sus, so called 
from a stream of this name. He then held southward across the Anti- Atlas, and 
at length, on July 1, arrived at Timbuktu, after a journey across the Sahara of 
fifty-one days. From Timbuktu to Saint Louis, the capital of Senegambia and 
the terminus of his route, he proceeded via Bassikunu, Sokolo, Bakhuinit, Futa 
Nioro, Kuniakari, Medina, and Bakel, and so down the Senegal. The two 
volumes are full of fresh material, and we hope that before long they will appear 
in a satisfactory English translation, unmutilated and with the original maps and 


illustrations. It is too common a habit with our English publishers to lighten the 
ship by throwing overboard what, in the eyes of the scientific student, is the most 
valuable portion of the freight. 

In the Lena Delta (by George W. Melville : London, Longmans & Co., 1885) 
rehearses the story of the JearmeMe, already known from poor De Long's own 
journal ; details Mr. Melville's heroic efforts to succour De Long and his ill-fated 
company ; and records his share in the Greeley Eelief Expedition. Altogether, it is 
a most moving history. 

Geographisches Jahrbuch. Begriindet 1866 durch E. Behm. Band x. 1884. Erste 
Halfte. Unter Mitwirkung von 0. Drude, G. Gerland, J. Hann, Th. v. 
Oppolzer, L. K. Schmarda, K. Zoppritz, herausgegeben von Hermann "Wagner. 
Gotha : Justus Perthes. 1885. 

This admirable year-book is so well known to every one who takes a scholarly 
interest in geographical work, that it is enough to call attention to the publication 
of this new part. Professor Dr. K. Zoppritz contributes a survey of recent 
researches in all departments of what the Germans call geophysic, a term embrac- 
ing all matters relating to the earth as a physical individuality — its shape, density, 
nutation, rotation, tides, internal condition, and movements of elevation or sub- 
sidence, volcanic activity, the structure of mountains, classification of rivers, lakes, 
etc. etc. Meteorology has a chapter to itself contributed by Professor Hann. 
Geodetic Surveys in Europe, with the questions relating to sea-level, etc., are 
treated by Professor Oppolzer. The Distribution of Plants is the subject of a long 
article from the practised pen of Professor Oscar Drude ; and the Distribution of 
Animals is handled on a similar scale by Professor Schmarda. And, finally, 
Professor Gerland summarises the results of ethnological inquiry. 

Life ami Work in Benares "ml Kiim<i<>n, 1n:3 ( .)-1S77. By James Kennedy, M.A.. 
late Missionary of the London Missionary Society, etc. With an Introductory 
Note by Sir William Muir, K.C.S.I., LL.D., D.C.L. Illustrated. London, 
T. Fisher Unwin. 1884. Pp. xxix., 392. No Index. 

This is a very unpretentious, and on that account all the more valuable, record 
of missionary life in India, the results of long and intimate acquaintance with 
country and people. Besides a large amount of information about Benares, we have 
notices of other cities in the valley of the Ganges, of Ceylon, Kumaon, the leper 
asylum at Almora, of Ranee Khet, and Nynee Tal ; as well as several chapters on 
general questions affecting India. Altogether, Mr. Kennedy must be thanked for 
his contribution to our missionary shelf. 

A Compendium of Modem Geography, Political, Physical, and Mathematical, etc. 
With eleven Coloured Maps. By the Rev. Alexander Stewart, LL.D. 
Thirty-third Edition. Revised and enlarged. Edinburgh, Oliver & Boyd. 

The Thirty-third Edition ! A cynical critic might call up a terrible picture of 
the amount of human misery which this one book must have produced ; and, with- 
out being cynical critics, we doubt whether it is constructed in such a way as to 
minimise the terrors of geography to the youthful mind. We can recollect the 
feelings with which we regarded its serried array of cold geographical facts in our 
own school-days. But as an array of geographical facts the work is distinctly a 


good one, and the product of very considerable labour and care. The coloured maps 
are a great improvement on those in the earlier editions. At p. 196 allowance has 
not been made for the increased area of Montenegro mentioned in next page. 

The Encyclopaedia Britannica : a Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, and General 
Literature. Ninth Edition. Vol. xviii. Edinburgh : Adam & Charles Black, 
1885. Pp. 858. Eleven maps. Published price, £l, 10s. 

To review this volume as an integral part of an encyclopaedia is happily not 
our present task. It would take one long familiar with the methods of encyclo- 
paedia-building to judge how far the editors have been guided by architectural 
principles, and how far by accidental occurrence of material and men. Instead of 
attempting to criticise the general plan and perspective of the imposing pile, it is 
our simpler duty to call attention to certain features of that portion which is still 
'• white from the mason's hand." We have only, in other words, to point out those 
articles in the present volume which appeal most directly to the geographer. How 
large a proportion of the total space is devoted to matter more or less strictly 
geographical may be gathered from the mere table of contents, which comprises 
Oudh, Oxus, Pacific Ocean, Persia, Palestine, Palmyra, Patagonia, Pekin, Pennsyl- 
vania, Peru, Philippines, Phoenicia, Phrygia. Perhaps the most important, as it is 
certainly the most extensive article, is that on Persia ; but when the sections on 
history, literature, and language are abstracted, the purely geographical portion, by 
the well-known diplomatist and traveller, Major-General Sir Frederick Goldsmid, 
is not executed on an extravagant scale. It is the long tract of time through which 
Persia has played a part in world-history which gives it a claim to exceptional 
treatment. " The Pacific," by Mr. Murray of the Challenger, and " Palmyra," by 
Professor Robertson Smith, are, each in its own way — the one scientific, the other 
historical — admirable examples of what encyclopaedia articles should be — compact 
and comprehensive, and thoroughly in harmony with the latest results of investiga- 
tion. Every one must be grateful to the publishers for the increased attention 
they have recently bestowed on the maps and illustrations. Some of those in the 
present volume, such as Paris, by J. Bartholomew, and the Pacific Ocean, by W. 
and A. K. Johnston, are particularly attractive to the eye, and others show an 
attempt to incorporate quite original information not elsewhere to be found in English 
sources. Here and there are articles (such as Oudh, Oxus, and Palmyra), which seem 
to call for some of the cartographic illustration which others have so liberally received. 


Letts' Popular Atlas. Letts, Son, & Co., London. Cloth, £2, 2s. 
This atlas may be otherwise described as a new edition of the Useful Know- 
ledge Society Atlas, which was published more than fifty years ago. After a most 
useful and honoured life, during which the U.K.S. Atlas has made the acquaintance 
of more than one publisher, it is now, in its old age, being chaperoned to the front 
by the enterprise of Messrs. Letts & Co. Credit is at least due to the publishers 
for the considerable ingenuity which they have displayed in the art of " Cosmetic 
Geography," — the process whereby the too evident signs of old age are disguised 
and hidden from the ordinary observer's eye by a judicious application of paint and 
surface adornment. The maps, however, embody many new features, not to be 
found in other atlases, and which, if reliably shown, are of great value and interest. 


The Hand]) General Atlas. By John Bartholomew, F.R.G.S. 
George Philip & Son, London. Half morocco, £2, 2s. 

This atlas, in its new edition, is to a great extent remodelled ; several important 
new maps have been added, which make the representation of the British Colonies 
one of its special features. The maps appear to have been well brought up to date, 
and, with the addition of a new index, it may now be said to meet all the require- 
ments of a good reference atlas for the present day. 

T Cosmograph /. Atlas. W. & A. K. Johnston, Edinburgh and London. 

Cloth, £\, Is. 

The Cosmograpltir well deserves its name, inasmuch as it fairly represents almost 
all branches of Geography. It is a very complete collection of good maps, and is 
certainly one of the best educational atlases now published. 

British Ides (New I. ',' do Atlas of the), from the New Ordnance and 

Special Surveys, with an Alphabetical Index to 50,000 Towns, Villages, etc. 
G. W. Bacon, London. 1884 Cloth, i'l, 1 
It is rather a misleading statement to the public for Mr. Bacon to announce in 
his prospectus of this atlas, that " his great work " is now completed. It would 
seem as if Mr. Bacon had just finished, after great labour and expense, some 
splendid new atlas of the British Isles, reduced, as he states, " from the 
Ordnance Surveys, and being virtually the entire ordnance of the three kingdoms 
condensed into a neat quarto volume." Possibly Mr. Bacon knows less about the 
antecedents of his atlas than other people do, for we fail to see how he can support 
the above statement. The plates now published by Mr. Bacon were issued with 
the Despatch newspaper in 186'n, they were afterwards sold to Messrs. Cassell, and, 
after publication by that firm, were then again sold to Mr. Bacon ; so that Mr. 
Bacon's "great work" consists perhaps in this purchase of the old plates of the 
Despatch Atlas. When the plates were engraved in 1859 and 1860, the Ordnance 
Survey of the British Isles being then only partly published, it was quite impossible 
that all these plates could have been reduced from it, so that instead of being 
reduced from the Xew Ordnance Survey, they were not all even from the Old 
Survey. We state these facts to show how the public may be misled by a 
system of enterprising advertisement. Although the production of new atlases is 
not actuated by mere motives of mercantile success, yet there is little prospect of 
great progress in cartography until good maps so far repay the great cost of their 
production, and compete in sale with the cheaper reprints of old plates. 

Perthes' Taschen- Atlas. Justus Perthes, Gotha. Cloth, 2s. 
Among atlases, the Pocket Atlas of Messrs. Perthes is something quite unique, 
the maps are beautifully engraved, and although they perhaps have not the clearness 
which would make them popular in this country, yet to a geographer the atlas is 
" a cartographical gem." 

Atlas UniverseUe: Vivien de Saint-Martin. Hachette et Cie., Paris. 
This is certainly one of the most ambitious cartographical works ever attempted, 
and, if completed, will do much to restore France to the coveted place which she 
once held as the foremost geographical nation in Europe. The first part of the 
work was issued in 1S77, and now in 1885 we have not yet got beyond the fourth. 
At this rate of progress, and seeing that the atlas is to contain 112 maps, it is very 


doubtful if we shall ever see the completion of it. So far as they have been issued, 
we may confidently say that each map is a rare combination of the science of 
geography with the arts of draughtmanship, engraving, and printing. 

Usterreic.h-Ungarn : Physikalisch-statistischer Handatlas. Lief. v. Bl. 5. Karte 
der Verteilung der Niederschlagshohen in den 4 Jahreszeiten, 6 Verteilung 
der Gewitter, 11 Bodenkarte. Eduard Holzel, Wien. 

Fifteen of the twenty-four maps which complete this important work have now 
been issued. Edited by Dr. Josef Chavanne, and produced in Holzel's geographical 
establishment in Vienna, it has been progressing rather slowly for the last two or 
three years, but the result is certainly a most valuable addition to the geography of 
Austria- H u ngary . 

Lander der Ungarische Krone ; Ethnographische Karte. Justus Perthes, Gotha. 

This map is prepared by Ignaz Hatsek to illustrate a paper in Petermann's 
Mitteilungeyi by Dr. Josef von Jekelfalussy on " The Nationalities of Hungary." 

The Soudaji and Khartum. Bartholomew's War Map. John Menzies & Co., 
Edinburgh. Price 6d. 

Drawn on a scale of 16 miles to an inch from the official surveys, this map 
embraces the complete field of military operations on the Nile, and extends to 
Suakim on the Red Sea. It appears to contain the names of all the places at 
present before the public, and is certainly published at a popular price. 

South Africa : illustrating Sir C. Warren's Commission. W. & A. K. Johnston, 
Edinburgh and London. Price Is. 

This map will serve all the requirements of newspaper readers in following out 
the South African question. 

Stella-Landes. R. A. Lavertine. Justus Perthes, Gotha. 

This map appears in Petermann's Mitteilungen, to illustrate a paper on Stella- 
Land by H. Wichmann ; it is based on the map in the South African Blue-Book, 
April 1884. 

Sud-Ost Afrika : Geologische Uebersichtskarte. H. Haevernik. Justus Perthes, 
Gotha. (Petermann's Mitteilungen.) 

This map, extending from the Zambesi to the Orange River, shows the geology 
of the Orange Free State, Transvaal, and the Matabele Kingdom, compiled from 
the works of Jeppe, Mauch, Hiibner, Cohen, and others. 




By James Clyde, M.A.. LL.D. 

Definition of River. — Neither brook nor river is defined by 
Johnson, when he explains the former with reference to river, and 
explains river as "a land current bigger than a brook." An exact defini- 
tion will be possible, when a hard and fast line has been discovered between 
the river-form and all other forms in which water descends from a higher 
to a lower level on the earth's surface. But, to use the words of J. »S. 
Mill when renouncing metaphysical nicety of definition in respect of wealth, 
and with substitution of river for wealth, "every one has a notion, suffi- 
ciently correct for common purposes, of what is meant by river." 

For uncommon purposes, an uncommon meaning may be read into the 
word. In 1877-8, there was a Scotch suit about the rights of boating, 
fishing, and fowling on Fionn Loch and Lubh Loch, Wester Ross ; in the 
course of which, an engineer witnessed that the lochs were geographically 
two, and not one, as was contended on the other side, alleging that they 
were connected by a river of the following dimensions : — North bank, 
150 feet; south bank, 50 feet; average length of waterway, 100 feet; 
width of waterway, 244 feet. "When was it heard of," exclaims the 
Lord Ordinary in the note appended to his interlocutor of 4th June 1877, 
" that a river was broader than it was long ! " The recall of this inter- 
locutor, on legal grounds, left untouched the Lord Ordinary's geographical 
finding : — "The river is really a thing of the imagination."' 

A river, then, is just a river. Yet rivers differ from one another in 
respect of source and outfall ; and not only whole rivers, but parts also of 
one and the same river differ from one another in respect of the flow, 
colour, and taste of their waters, and of the services and disservices they 
render to man. 

VOL. I. F 


Head-Streams. — The source of a river means only its principal 
source, for the sources are countless, being indeed all the points in the 
ridge of the watershed which divides the basin of the river in question 
from the basins contiguous to it. The principal source must be the 
source of the principal head-stream ; and that one of the head-streams is 
the principal one which, besides being longer and larger than any of the 
others, also comes down from a greater height, and lies more nearly in 
the line of the river-course. But all these qualifications are seldom found 
united ; and sometimes there is not even a preponderance of them in 
favour of any one in particular. Who shall decide whether the source of 
the Yorkshire Ouse is to be found up the Swale or up the Ure ; that of 
the Rhine up the Vorder- or up the Hinter-Rhein ; that of the Danube up 
the Brege, or up the Brigach in the Black Forest 1 Generally, however, 
the balance favours some one head-stream. The Missouri, for instance, 
is preferred to the Upper Mississippi, as head-stream of the waters 
delivered by the Lower Mississippi into the Gulf of Mexico, because, 
though deviating markedly from the line of the lower river-course, it is 
both larger and longer than the Upper Mississippi, and comes down from 
a much greater height. The name Mississippi travelled up stream with 
exploration, and came to be the name of the shorter and smaller of the 
two confluents, because exploration happened to ascend the shorter and 
smaller one first. On the other hand, the Maranon is preferred to the 
Ucayale as head-stream of the Amazon, though it be a dozen or a score 
of miles shorter, because the main direction of the river-course continues 
up the MaraGon far beyond the confluence of the Ucayale, and the 
Maranon rises very much farther west than the Ucayale, or any other 

The Source. — When the principal head-stream makes its first appear- 
ance as the outflow of a glacier, or as the overflow of a spring welling from 
out the bowels of the earth, there, without any indefiniteness or question, 
is the source of the river itself ; for popular language ignores the previous 
sub-glacial or subterranean flow of the waters. The Rhone Glacier has 
thus a perfect title to be called the source of the river Rhone. Fairly 
well represented in these islands is such a source by the frozen snow- 
beds from under which issue the head-waters of many a Scottish river 
during the greater part of the }ear. Well-sources are few compared 
with glacier-sources. The most copious one in Great Britain was St. 
Winifred's Well, Flintshire, so long as it delivered 21 tons of water 
per minute. According to information furnished by the Vicar of Holywell 
for this article, that quantity has of late years decreased by about 9 
tons per minute, so that steam-poAver is now used for work which pre- 
viously needed only the water-power supplied by the well, and by a 
brooklet which joins the well-stream about 50 yards from the well itself. 
The well-stream joins the estuary of the Dee after a course of 1 mile 3 
furlongs, with a total fall of 245 feet, which allows its waters to be used 


over and over again for driving the machinery of public works. More 
famous is the fountain of Vaucluse, so called from being situated at the 
head of a Vattis dausa, where "No thoroughfare" is written in rock 
letters steep and high. The river Sorgues, which flows from the fountain, 
joins the Rhone 5 miles north of Avignon. Rivers adult at birth are 
reported by Joseph Thomson as issuing from the east side of Kilimanjaro. 
He writes of them : " These streams are remarkable for the way in 
which they well forth at the base of Kilimanjaro. In this respect, 
they differ wholly from the Chaga streams, which rise high up on the 

Of a pool-source, there could not be a better example than Shannon 
Pot, as the natives call it, in County Cavan, whence flows the largest river 
of Ireland. In the hollow of a well-grassed upland, within a few minutes' 
walk of a farm-steading, opens in the deep soil a round hole measuring 
several yards across ; and at the bottom of the hole lies a pool with a 
rather swift outflow of 2 to 3 feet in both breadth and depth. Such is 
Shannon Pot ; at any rate, such is an eleven-year old impression of it, 
read off without notes. 

Lake Sources. — Most rivers that rise at a moderate elevation in the 
temperate zone put in their first appearance as an upland brooklet fed by 
the down-trickling drainage : and no one spot can be pointed to at all 
seasons, and in all weathers, as that where the head-stream takes its rise. 
In this sense, the head-stream, and consequently the river itself, have 
no source. Some lake or lakelet, situated far up a river, is in such 
cases usually accepted as the source ; and a human convention passes 
at length for a fact in nature. Even travellers worry over "the true 
source,' where nature offers only a choice of conventional sources: so 
strongly are men drawn to Realism even when the facts declare for 
Nominalism. Thus, in the Proceedings of tic Royal Geographical & 
for December 1884, p. 722. Her Majesty's Consul at Mozambique discusses 
whether "the true source of the Lujenda River must be looked for'" in 
Lake Shirwa or Kilwa, which in high floods may feed it ; or in lakes 
Ainaramba and Chiuta, which feed it regularly ; or in the swamps Mtambo 
and Mtorandenga, which again teed these lakes by the stream Namiguru. 
Lakes of which the influents are nearly on a par, not one of them forming 
a considerable river, are well defined lake-sources. Such is the small lake 
giving rise to the Spey, a longish river for Scotland : such is Loch Maree, 
a large lake with the Ewe for outlet, a river only one mile long. Such, 
too, is Glazier Lake, which, in consequence of having been recently found 
to lie a few feet higher, now supplants Itasca Lake, as source of the Upper 
Mississippi. So, Lake Lauricocha may pass as the source of the Amazon. 
Rut when some one influent is long and large, the inquirer may decline to 
stop at the lake, and insist upon placing the source of the river that drains 
the lake at the head of its principal feeder. In this way, the source of the 
White Xile is not Victoria Nyanza, but the source of the Shimeeyu, which 


feeds Victoria Nyanza ; and the source of the Congo is not Lake Bang- 
weolo, but the source of the Chambezi, which feeds Lake Bangweolo. 

The River-Course. — In respect of Mow, rivers differ from one another, 
and the same river varies at different parts according as the flow is more 
or less circuitous ; is quick, with the incidents of rapids and waterfalls, or 
slow, with the incident of expansion into lakes; is above or below the 
general level of the country, and, in the latter case, is more or less deep 
down below it, or even subterranean ; finally, is more or less liable to 
floods. The destructiveness of rivers, also their serviceableness as navi- 
gable waterways, and their availableness for irrigation, all depend on the 
manner of the flow. 

The water-courses of a country are determined, in the first instance, 
by its original relief, by the ups-and-downs of the primeval surface. A 
range of hills or mountains is not necessary to a watershed. A con- 
tinuous swell of the surface, provided only it rise decidedly higher than 
the highest flood on either side of it, parts the waters as surely as does 
a lofty range : witness the watershed between the St. Lawrence and 
Hudson Bay, so gentle that the ridge of it cannot everywhere be traced. 
And provided the mass of the watershed be ample, it matters nothing, so 
far as the general direction of the river-course is concerned, whether its 
slopes be formed of rock or of looser material. Flowing water has assisted 
in scooping out whole valleys, and every river works out the details of 
its own course. Niagara River, for instance, flows eastward in obedience 
to the relief of the country ; but it flows at the bottom of a deep rocky 
gorge below the falls, because of its own action in wearing, loosening, 
and carrying away the rocky bottom of its original bed. Except at 
waterfalls, however, a river must be in flood to modify perceptibly tl it- 
details of its course. It then abrades and undermines its own banks, 
so that portions of them fall in, with whatever may be growing 
thereon, and all this material it deposits at the head of some lake, 
or distributes over the fiats which, in its ordinary state, it merely 

Circuitous Rivers. — Of rivers whose whole course is circuitous the 
Devon is a capital example. Rising inside the Ochils, it escapes from them 
eastward, and, turning westward at the Crook, flows outside them to the 
Forth, which it enters, after a course of 26 miles, at a point only 61 miles, 
as the crow flies, from its source. The Nile, again, is a river with a pretty 
direct course on the whole, in which, however, there occurs one great 
bend, extending from Korosko up stream to Abu Hamecl, and containing 
the second, third, and fourth cataracts. The journey between these two 
points is 500 miles longer by the Great Bend than straight across the 

Twin-river Bends. — Here may be mentioned the bends of the twin- 
river system characteristic of Asia. The Obi and Yenisei, the Yangtze- 


Kiang and old Hwang-ho — Le. the Hwang-ho as it reached the sea prioi I i 
the floods of 1851-3— both rise, and fall into the sea, near to each other : 
again, the Euphrates and Tigris, the Ganges and Brahmaputra, rise near to 
each other, and fall into the sea together; but all these twin-rivers give 
to each other a very wide berth between source and mouth. So the 
Severn and Wye, rising at the distance of only about a mile from 
other on Plvnlimmon, and uniting their waters at length in the B] 
Channel, follow widely divergent courses in between. 

Inosculating Rivers. — Twins, and even trins, at tie- source alom-. are 
numerous. Akin to these are rivers that flow out of the same lake-source, 
or whose head-waters inosculate ; but such rivers do not necessarily 
form a circuit. The Amazon and the Orinoco, which inosculate on the 
grandest scale by means of the Rio Negro and the < lassiquiari, desciibe 
between them a highly bent bow through the heart of South America. 
According to Anderson's map of South Central Africa, in the Boyal 
Geographical Society's Proceedings for January L884, there is a like inos- 
culation there. Just as the head-stream of the Orinoco divides its waters, 
at the Cassiquiari parting, to north and south, bo does Hack River, which 
rises in Brinus Mountains, divide its waters to east and west, connecting 
thereby the Hygap and Great Fish River, two tributaries to Orange River 
on the light bank, and forming with them a highly bent bow in the heart 
of South Africa. In North America, on the other hand. Columbia Rivi i 
and Mackenzie River, which receive contributions from opposite ends of 
the same lake in Athabasca Pass of the Rocky Mountain-, flow in so 
nearly opposite directions that their courses form, in the main, a ] 
straight line, the lowest reach of the Columbia excepted, which makes 
a right angle with the rest of its own course. Similarly the courses of 
the Tweed and Clyde, which have been known to inosculate in great 
floods, by the inundation of boggy ground at the head of Biggar Wi 
lie nearly in the same straight line. 

Winding Rivers. — Natural counterforts, succeeding each other on 
opposite banks, do make the river deviate now to left, and immediately 
thereafter to right. But windings so caused want the multiplicity and 
intricacy of those which a river creates for itself, as the Links of Forth, 
with the added phenomenon of aits, as often as a link is completed into a 
loop. British rivers, comparatively gentle in themselves, are also now 
so well embanked that they exemplify but feebly the modifications wrought 
annually by a river liable to floods on the details of its course. Yet 
all our holms and haughs are their work. The windings of to-day 
are the survival of countless old channels of various dates, which here 
and there interlaced, and here and there got filled up, the line of I< 
resistance being everywhere that which the river followed in forming, as 
flood after flood subsided, its permanent channel. The links of the Scot- 
tish -Meander measure 20 miles for a direct distance, between Stirling and 


Alloa, of 7 miles. Equally definite information is not to hand about the 
original Meander ; hut its windings were said by the ancients to have given 
to Daedalus his first idea of the labyrinth, and they were described as 
tracing over and over again, upon the plain, the most intricate letters 
of the Greek alphabet. The windings of the Achelous, the largest river 
in Greece, are less numerous, but on a larger scale. For miles at a 
time, this river returns, through its own alluvial deposit, towards the 
mountains from which it brings down, with every flood, one layer more 
to a plain fertile as the Nile delta. To see the like stupendous return of 
a water-course upon itself on British ground, one must look below high- 
water mark, where rivers serpentine the end of their ways through the 
immense of sand revealed at low water in the Solway Firth or More- 
cambe Bay. 

Nearly level tracts of sand and alluvium occur most often towards the 
mouth of a river, because there the river-basin usually widens, and the 
carrying power of the stream is reduced to a minimum : there also, in 
the case of tidal rivers, the upward flood tAvice a day aids the downward 
flood of the river in distributing equally the materials of the deposit. 
But instances are not wanting of winding rivers far inland. Pimichin 
River, in the Rio Negro region of South America, is mentioned by 
A. R. Wallace as traversing a flat sandy tract, with "an extraordinary 
number of bends and doubles." And few rivers meander more or farther 
than the Tonke, that entirely inland river of South Central Africa, whose 
alternating flow now to, now from, Lake Ngami will be noticed by and by. 

Kate of Flow. — Another distinction among rivers is based on the 
rate at which they flow. The rivers of Scotland generally, headed in this 
respect by the Spej', are swift ; the rivers of England generally, excepting 
those of the six northern counties, are slow. The rate varies directly 
with the decline of the bottom, and inversely with the area of the river- 
section. Precisely the same quantity of water is passed on per minute 
over inch by inch of the brattling shallow or roaring gully, as over inch 
by inch of the quiet pool or lake immediately aboA'e. The slower rate 
of movement in the pool or lake is compensated by the larger area there 
of the moving section. The problem is like that of passing equal 
quantities of water in equal times through funnels of which some have the 
orifice large, and others have it small : the water must pass through the 
small orifice at a quicker rate than through the large one. 

Navigable Rivers. — Slow, deep, and straight are the qualities of a 
navigable river. Sir Charles Lyell mentions, in his North American 
Travels, that General Washington is said to have selected, for the capital 
of the United States, the site where Washington City now stands, partly 
because of its being at the head of navigation on a great river ; and then 
he adds : — " But unfortunately the estuary of the Potomac is so long and 
winding, that to ascend from its mouth to Washington is said often to 


take a vessel as long as to cross from Liverpool to the mouth of the 
river.'' The rivers of the Argentine Republic, the Parana itself not 
excepted, exemplify on a large scale the conditions which, though not 
barring navigation, impede it. Immense are their windings through the 
plain ; then their great breadth shallows the waterway, and allows of its 
division into channels, which, again, are not constant : the navigable 
channels, and the banks or shoals dividing them, change with every 

The river-flow is a help to craft sailing down, but a hindrance to craft 
sailing up ; and there is a rate of movement at which the hindrance 
becomes a barrier. To shoot the Lachine rapids is an amusement with 
visitors to Montreal ; but the shooting is always down stream. In the 
up-voyage, a canal is preferred. The enormous difference to the traveller 
between up-stream and down-stream appears in the report which Mr. 
John M. Cook gave, on the 5th January 1885, to the Royal Geographical 
Society, of his share in the British expedition up the Nile After stating 
that, on his return from Dongola, his boat was steered successfully by a 
Canadian through all the cataracts ami rapids, he added, " to give an 
idea of the different rate of travelling, he might say that a distance 
of 75 miles (between Sana- and Sakarmatta), which had taken thir- 
teen days in ascending, was covered in eleven hours on the return 

Canalised Rivers. — Rivers arc navigable in proportion as they 
resemble canals, and the supply of water may be ever so scanty, provided 
only the river-bed contain a breadth and depth of water sufficient to float 
the required craft. Many rivers are canalised. The Thames, from Lech- 
lade, where it connects by a canal with the Severn, down to the first lock 
at Twickenham, a distance of 150 miles, is a canal. Even quite insigni- 
ficant streams are canalised, when the decline of the bottom is slight, and 
the prospect of traffic good ; witness the Gippen or Ippen in Suffolk, so 
insignificant a stream that, although Ipswich is named after it, that town 
is never described as at the mouth of the Ippen, but always as on the 
Orwell, estuary of the Ippen. The Clyde, from Glasgow Bridge to Port- 
Glasgow, is now a tidal canal ; for its natural bed has been dredged to 
one level for that distance, with the interesting result that the high-water 
level has been raised and the low-water level lowered from Glasgow 
Bridge downwards. There is no steepness of fall in an)- of the Scottish 
rivers, but could be surmounted by a Neptune's Staircase, such as admits 
to the south end of the Caledonian Canal, or by mechanicaMifts, which 
are sometimes preferred to locks : some of them even offer facilities. 
The Aberdeenshire Dee, for instance, holds a pretty straight course, with 
a moderate fall, all the way from the Linn, 6 miles above Castleton of 
Braemar. The Galloway Dee, again, offers 8 miles of lake-water, which 
is nearly a fourth of its length above the estuary : and the writer of a 
prospectus for its canalisation would be entitled to add the 4£ miles of 


lake-water in Loch Ken, which would raise the above proportion of nearly 
one-fourth to fully one-third. Scottish rivers are not canalised simply 
because, in their case, lejeu ne vautpas I" chandelle. 

Rapids and Falls. — Navigation is impelled by rapids; it is stopped 
by falls. A perpendicular waterfall is no part of the river-course, for it is 
not in the river-bed, and falling water is not subject to the laws of flowing 
water. In the river-bed, water flows faster in the middle than at the sides, 
and on the surface than at the bottom. In the perfect, i.e. the perpendi- 
cular waterfall, particles in the middle descend no faster than particles at 
the sides ; those that were lately at the surface, and those that were lately 
at the bottom, descend at the same rate ; all obey now the mere force of 
gravity, modified only by the resistance of the air. The greater the 
navigability of a river but for waterfalls, the greater the disservice they 
render. Yellala Falls, at the head of the estuary of the Congo, together 
with the rapids and cataracts that succeed one another for over 200 miles 
above it, shut out the trader from 3000 miles of navigable waterway 
offered by that river and its tributaries above Stanley Pool. The Nile, 
again, is innavigable, for the most part, from the second or Great Cataract 
to Berber, a distance of 700 miles : and thereby the trader is shut out 
from nearly 2000 miles of navigable waterway on the Nile and its tribu- 
taries above Berber. The like is true of African rivers generally; for 
that continent may be described as a table-land of lacustrine saucers 
1000 to 4000 feet above the ocean-level, with a rim of coast-ranges, 100 to 
200 miles distant from the sea. The great rivers issue from the interior 
by gaps in the rim, and the steepness of the descent from each gap to the 
sea necessitates cataracts and falls. To this state of matters, America 
presents a contrast. There the great rivers of the Atlantic slope have 
floated European enterprise up to the plains of the far interior ; whereas 
in Africa roads and railways are required to convey European enterprise 
from the coast, in order that it may be floated on the inland waters. 

Log-floating Rivers. — Many rivers, not navigated or navigable, are 
yet equal to the floating of logs down stream. Even mere brooks, dammed 
back at intervals, are pressed into the woodman's transport-service. The 
value of such aid may be understood by what happens when it is absent. 
For 100 miles along the south coast of Cape Colony stretches the forest 
of Knysna, with an aA'erage breadth of 25 miles, the largest forest in the 
colony. But there are neither rivers to float down the timber, nor 
natural harbours convenient for loading it on shipboard — the carriage is 
overland with bullock-teams : and the consequence is that, not only does 
Cape Colony not export timber, but at Cape Town Norway deals are 
cheaper than the native timber. 

Irrigating Rivers. — Rivers as such, i.e. irrespective of floods, are 
often said to water the countries through which they flow. Of themselves, 



rivers water a country to a quite insignificant extent. In warm climates, 
no doubt, it is the " tree planted by rivers of water " that " bringeth forth 
his fruit in his season." The tourist in Greece knows from far, by the 
green riband of oleanders wandering athwart the landscape, that a river- 
course is there ; but the green riband is narrow, and on either edge of it 
begins again the ashen grey of bare and thirsty -round. The hand, of 
man is needed to effect a beneficent distribution of river-water on an 
extensive scale ; for the proper function of a river is to receive and pass 
on drainage. The moistening of its banks is, as in the case of any open 
drain, only a slight incident of its proper function. The Euphrates and 
Tigris still flow through the plain of Shinar ; and it is the disappearance, 
not of the irrigating water, but of the irrigating men, that has changed 
that once fruitful field into a desert. The same is true even of Arabia. 
The ancient dwellers bored deep wells through rock as well as through 
earth, securing them with masonry, and made dams in favourable spots : 
the Arabs of to-day make no dams; their only digging tools are their 
hands and a stick; and they are clay-builders. 

The rivers which lend themselves most readily to irrigation are, of 
course, those which flow at a higher level than the land to lie irrigated. 
But this specialty in livers is always man's work, though nature begins 
the process; for rivers that regularly overflow embank themselves more or 
less, as has been observed in the Amazon, and still more in the Mississippi. 
The heavier sediment being deposited, during inundation, at the shorter 
distance, and the lighter sediment being both carried farther away, and 
spread over a wider area, the immediate banks are raised more rapidly 
than the surface of the land behind them ; and a landward slope is 
established, less steep of course than the slope towards the river. But this 
self-embankment is imperfect and irregular; and only by man's device and 
work are river-banks raised and maintained so as to prevent destructive 
inundation. Now, as soon as a turbid river begins to slacken its rate of 
flow, which it necessarily does on reaching a champagne country, it begins 
also to deposit the earthy matter with which it is laden : and when such 
a river is confined within banks, the deposit becomes an addition to the 
river-bed, which consequently rises. In this way it is that the bed of the 
Po has come to be higher than the adjacent land ; so that, by sluices in 
the banks, the meadows of Lombard}', and the rice-fields of Veuetia and 
Emilia, are inundated at pleasure. In like manner, the Nile below the 
first cataract flows on and within an embankment, through which the 
flood- waters are allowed to escape only where arrangements have been 
made for their distribution. 

Easy also is irrigation from rivers which flow only a little way below 
the surface of the land, as do the classic streams Cephisus and llissus. 
A shallow cutting in the bank up-stream taps the water-supply, and conveys 
it to the lands lower down. The plain of Athens glooms with olive- 
groves, because, wherever stands an olive tree, thither has man led a " river 
of water." But this mode of irrigation becomes increasingly difficult with 


the depth below the surface at which rivers now; and it is soon found 
preferable to lift, by manual labour or with the aid of a wheel, the water 
of the river up to the surface of the ground. It is this laborious irriga- 
tion that accounts for the gardens, vineyards, and date-groves which 
even now bedeck, at intervals, the immediate banks of the Euphrates and 
Tigris. The fertility that fringes the Nile above the first cataract is due 
to the same cause. 

Sunken Eivers. — Many rivers flow so far below the surface that irriga- 
tion out of their depths would not pay expenses. Such are most rivers in 
Cape Colony ; and the consequence is that the Great Karroo, for example, 
though traversed by three considerable rivers, Zout, Lion, and Dwyka, 
with their tributaries, remains a merely pastoral region, growing chiefly 
the shrub called by the natives karroo, of which, fortunately, the flocks 
are fond. With irrigation, the somewhat saline reddish clay of this region 
would yield corn and wine. Sunken, too, are the rivers of the Canadian 
North- West. On the second prairie level, they flow 150 to 200 feet below 
the general surface ; and on the third prairie level, near Medicine Hat, 
the South Saskatchewan flows 293 feet below the general surface. Irri- 
gation is not wanted in that quarter, but the usual amenity of river- 
navigation would be welcome, whereas the self-made river-troughs are so 
narrow, that the view from a steamer ploughing their waters is little better 
than the view from a train speeding through a deep cutting. A favourable 
example of this formation in Scotland is the " Trough of the Clyde," which, 
beginning a short way below Lanark, extends 12 miles down stream. But 
this river-trough is 6 miles wide, with haugh, and slope, and hill on either 
side up to the plateau of the general surface, so that even the tourist is 
pleased with the trough. The most stupendous example on the globe of 
a sunken river is the Rio Colorado, United States of North America, with 
its tributaries. These all flow at the bottom of deep and precipitous 
gorges, called canyons after the Spanish name. In the Grand Canyon of 
the Rio Colorado itself, extending for 200 miles down stream from the 
confluence of Little Colorado, the river flows, between nearly perpendicular 
walls, at a depth of 4000 to 7000 feet below the surface of a country barren 
for want of water. 

Underground Rivers. — In limestone regions, because of the fissures 
and caverns characteristic of that rock, rivers are apt to disappear, and of 
course also to reappear. But the deeper any such river descends into the 
bowels of the earth, the less is known of its subterranean course, and the 
less certain becomes the point of its reappearance. For example, the 
Stymphalus, after flowing 2 miles towards the edge of the Arcadian table- 
land, disappears in a Ka.To.(366po., as the modern Greeks call such river- 
chasms ; and it is certain that, about 20 miles from this Ku.Taf366pu, 
several streams, issuing low down near the sea-level from the rocks 
of Mount Chaon, unite and form the P>asinus, the one permanent 


river of the Argive Plain. But whether, according to both ancient and 
modern opinion, Erasmus be Stymphalus redux, is uncertain. So Eregli 
Lake, on the Anatolian table land, north of Taurus, is supposed to find 
outlet, south of Taurus, in the sources of the Cydnus. The best-known 
underground rivers are of course those which flow nearest to the surface, 
as that brook which, rising near Hebron, flows by Gerar to the sea, 
and supplies water to as many of the inhabitants all along as tap it 
by digging a well; or again as the Guadiana, which, after flowing 30 
miles above ground, disappears, and for the next 30 miles reappears 
at intervals in lakelets known as the eyes of the Guadiana. 

The best place in the British Isles for observing underground flow is 
-. County Galway. Lough Mask drains into Lough Corrib by 
underground streams, which are accessible at various points in their four- 
mile course, wherever a lime-sink has developed into a complete break- 
down of the surface. One of these, called Pigeon Hole, gives access, at a 
depth of 60 feet, to a stream that has its outflow within the demesne of 
Cong Abbey. Other streams come to the surface at the Rising Waters in 
Cong village ; and others still at less notable outlets. The cause of all 
this in the nature of the rock is illustrated by the "Big Blunder," as it 
is called in the neighbourhood — a canal-bed cut through the limestone 
between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask in 1M7 v . as a Government 
relief-work. The water leaked away as it was let in ; and the canal- 
bed remains empty. Inspection, wherever practicable, attests that rivers 
behave in precisely the same way under ground as above ground. 
Underground rivers swell and subside according to the weather, like rivers 
of the upper air : it is after continuous heavy rains that the Peak Cavern, 
Derbyshire, shows a torrent fed by furious cataract>. 

DIMINISHING RIVERS. — In rainless countries, like Egypt, and in coun- 
tries with a dry season, like India, rivers diminish in volume towards the 
mouth. The Nile is the most conspicuous example. Its last considerable 
tributary is the Atbara, which joins it 1200 miles from the Mediterranean ; 
and from March to June, this tributary shows, in the last 50 miles of 
its course, only a series of deep pools, the retreat of crocodiles, hippo- 
potami, turtles, and fish. The consequence is that, what with evapora- 
tion under a burning sun, leakage into the banks, and the withdrawal 
of water for irrigation, the Nile becomes smaller and smaller from the 
confluence of the Atbara downwards. Like causes account for the like- 
effect in the Indus, from the confluence of the Panjnad downwards. 
In the interior of Asia and Australia, diminishing rivers are the rule. 
Many of them are even intermittent, flowing only after rains ; and in 
Australia, the course of many such rivers is marked, not by a channel 
properly so called, but by a succession of wide flats subject to inundation. 
Every country abounds with intermittent water-courses : after heavy rain, 
they gather in our streets, and hasten to the nearest opening prepared for 
them, just as they spout forth from our hillsides, and hurry down to the 


nearest loch or river. But careful observation might show that some of 
our recognised rivers are liable to diminution, as they flow, during long- 
continued drought, The observation would have to include the rate of 
How as well as the depth of water ; for the slackening of the former, 
while the latter remains unchanged, is the earliest form of diminishing 


BACK-FLOW. — The only regular back-flow in British rivers is that caused 
by the tide. In the Amazon, the tide never overpowers the seaward cur- 
rent ; and careful observation might discover the same phenomenon in 
other large rivers, and even in some British rivers when these are in 
flood. At Santarem, where the Tapajos joins the Amazon, about 500 
miles from the Atlantic, the Amazon, at 100 yards from the banks, 
streams away seaward, at the very time when its side-waters, raised 
by the tide, are flowing yellow up the blue Tapajos. The supposition 
is that the waters of the Atlantic creep up along the bottom of the 
river-channel, so that the main Amazon rides over them to the ocean. 
Independently of the tide, and far inland beyond its reach, some back- 
flow takes place up tributaries, wherever the main river rises in con- 
sequence of rains that have not extended to the basins of the tribu- 
taries, a down-flow producing the same side-movement as an up-flow. 
Back-flow — at least stagnation — from this cause occurs for several hundred 
miles up the Bio Negro early every year when the Amazon rises. 

It is not the back-flow itself, but the rise of waters in the back-flow, 
that is important to the navigators of an estuary, and to the farmers on 
its banks. Warping by tidal waters is practised in both the Old World 
and the New; and the words in Evangeline, written of the dikes which 
regulate the fertilisation of Grand-Pre, Nova Scotia, by the Bay of 
Fundy tide, red with suspended marl, are fairly descriptive of like works 
on the English Humber and Trent : — 

" Dikes, that the hands of the farmers had raised with labour incessant, 
Shut out the turbulent tides ; but at certain seasons the flood-gates 
Opened, and welcomed the sea to wander at will o'er the meadows." 

Alternating Flow.— Lake Ngami, a shallow, reedy sheet of water, 50 
miles by 8 to 18 miles, occupying the flat of an upland saucer in South 
Central Africa, is a centre of alternating flow. Its chief influents, Zouga 
from the south-east and Tonke from the north-west, are in flood at 
different seasons. Zouga in flood avails to make the lake overflow into 
and up Tonke, which is then very low ; Tonke in flood avails to make 
the lake overflow into and up Zouga, which is low in its turn. When 
Lake Ngami contains more water than can be disposed of by this alternat- 
ing flow, the excess escapes northwards by an off-set from Zouga called 
Malabe, which branches out, so as to meet the Chobe, a tributary to the 
Zambesi, at five points. In the dry season, the Malabe is waterless : 
in the wet season, it flows north or south according as Lake Ngami is 


brimming to overflow, or not. Substitute for Lake Ngami the Amazon. 
sea-like in extent for about half the year, and always lake-like in gentle 
flow, and the right and left-bank tributaries of the Amazon for the Zouga 
and Tonke respectively — a like alternating system is there. In February 
and March, the right-bank tributaries of the Amazon swell the Amazonian 
sea to such a degree, that the waters press up the left-bank tributaries, which 
are then at their lowest. In June, the left-bank tributaries, swollen in their 
turn, send like pressure up the right-bank tributaries, which by that time 
have fallen considerably. A >till more manifold system of alternating 
flow is due to the enormous rise of the waters of Tali-Sap Lake on the 
confines of Cambodia and Siam, with plains immense all round. This 
lake measures 60 miles by 20 miles, and its waters, from being 3 to 4 feet 
deep, rise annually till they are 40 to 50 feet deep. In the wet season, the 
lake serves as a back-water to the Me-kong, stems the current of its own 
feeders, and, rising above many a low watershed, flows into shallow valleys 
and saucers not belonging to its own basin, absorbing local drainage into 
the general inundation. During subsidence, some of the water- return 
to the lake, flowing back from all the point.-- of the compass towards 
it: but others, becoming disconnected from the Tali-Sap basin, as the 
overflowed watersheds emerge, flow down valleys, or settle in saucers, as 
before the inundation. 

Colour of Rivers. — Black and white are the commonest colour-names 
of rivers. The ancient Greeks had in their peninsula six rivers called MeAas, 

Black, and one called Aeu/ccw, White, the accent of the adjective Xcvkos 
being changed here according to the usual rule for proper names. But 
Greece had more than one river rolling white waters to the sea : hence 
the Homeric epithet applied to the Peneius and other streams, dpyvpo8ivr)$, 
which lexicons render "silver-eddying." In the Peneius at any rate, tin 
silver whirled along in eddies is the dirty-white earth of its own over- 
flowed banks. The AcheloUs is, for that same prosaic reason, called 
in modern Greek Aspro-potamo, ie. White River. Our own Blackadder 
and Whitadder are true colour-names; but white in Whitadder means 
dear, and black in Blackadder denotes the coffee-brown of moss-begotten 
water. The equatorial region of South America is the classic country 
of black and white waters: the Rio Negro and its tributary, Rio 
Branco, represent two sets of rivers, black and white respectively. 
The whiteness of the Bio Branco. like that of the white rivers in Greece, 
is the whiteness of earthy matter in suspension, for the colour of the water 
itself, when the sediment has settled, is pale olive, which is also the 
colour of Rio Negro water as seen in a wine-glass. It is because of the great 
depth, that the Rio Negro looks black as ink at its confluence with the 
Amazon; and the pale olive colour, which deepens into black, is due to 
the decomposition of vegetable matter. "White waters are turbid, because 
of the presence of earthy matter in them ; and white must lie inter- 
preted widely, as including, at any rate, yellow. The black waters, on 


the other hand, are remarkably clear ; through them, the pure white sand 
of the bottom looks golden, and small fishes can be watched at a depth of 
20 to 30 feet. Rivers may be called black or white irrespective of the 
colour of their waters. Sour Milk Ghyll Force, Cumberland, is so called 
merely because of the momentary whiteness which belongs to broken 
water ; and, at page 391 of Through Masai Land, Joseph Thomson men- 
tions Guaso X'Erok, i.e. Black River, as owing its name merely to the 
black volcanic rocks over which it flows. Of other colour-names, red and 
yellow belong to rivers turbid with earthy matter ; witness the Rio 
Colorado (Anglice Red River) of the United States of North America, and 
the Hwang-ho or Yellow River of China. The omniscient school-boy 
recalls the flaws Tiberis of Horace. The names Blue and Green, on the 
other hand, belong to clear rivers. The former name belongs to the 
purest waters of all, those which come down from clean rock-regions, as 
the Blue Nile, for the White Nile is so called because it is turbid with 
whitish earth. So the name Di-chu, which the Yangtze-Kiang bears towards 
its source, is rendered Blue River. Green water is tinged with vegetable 

Niger and Orange River have only the sound of colour-names. The 
former represents a native name, N-eghirreu, which means simply the river. 
The latter is the reproduction by the Dutch, in South Africa, of the 
princely title of the King of the Netherlands. 

Taste of Rivers. — All river-water holds some mineral matter in 
solution ; and salt is that kind which the palate most readily detects. There 
is a Salt River in Western Australia, and more than one Rio Salado in the 
Argentine Republic. All streams which bring down the washings of the 
pampas are saline, and the saltness increases with the drought. 

The Mouth. — Where exactly the mouth of a river is, cannot be told. 
In the Nith stake-net case, which Avas decided at Dumfries, on 30th April 
1S36, it was vainly endeavoured to settle by scientific evidence where the 
river ended and the sea began. The stake-nets in epiestion stood far 
down the estuary ; but Lord Moncreiff and his jury, founding chiefly on 
the wording of a charter of 1395, declared them to be in the river Nith. 
At every river-mouth, there goes on a deposit, or a distribution, or some 
combination of the two, of river-borne material. If the deposit form a 
subaqueous bank at some little distance from the shore, it is called a bar. 
If it rise to the surface in mid-stream, so as to divide the river into 
branches, and by growing seaward extend the area of the land, it is called 
a delta. Sometimes again, without forming either bar or delta, a river, 
by distributing sediment to right and left of its channel, embanks itself 
farther and farther seaward. In this very way, the Shat-el-Arab mouth- 
piece of the Euphrates and Tigris has added about 100 miles to its course 
since the dawn of history. 

It is a mistake to suppose that deltas belong especially to great rivers. 


The tourist, walking along the shoi-e of Loch Katrine when the burns are 
in spate, may notice each little stream heaping up its little delta on the 
lake-side, and duly embracing it with two little arms. Great rivers with 
mighty perennial current have no delta; witness the Congo, the Amazon, 
the St. Lawrence. Great rivers with diminishing flow naturally form 
large deltas : witness the Nile and Indus. Moreover, the bar of one age 
may become the delta of another. The Rio de la Plata estuary is at 
present an assemblage of mud-banks under water ; but, should these 
mud-banks, by continued accumulation of deposit, ever emerge and become 
dry land, this land may take the form of a delta. It is also a mistake 
to suppose that deltas are formed only at a sea-side river-mouth. The 
mouths of tributary rivers are inland ; and there also deltas are some- 
times formed, as at the confluence of Rio Branco with Rio Xegro in 
South America. 

All that has been said of rivers reaching the sea applies to continental 
rivers, as the Jordan, Volga, and Oxus, which flow into lakes without 
outlet. Some continental rivers end in a marsh ; and thousands of minor 
ones, in Central Asia especially, reaching neither lake nor marsh, are 
wasted by absorption and evaporation to a thread, and, being no longer 
recruited by tributaries, simply disappear in the thirsty ground. The dis- 
appearance is all the more rapid if a delta has been formed where the 
current begins to languish, the divided stream being of course still more 
subject to absorption and evaporation. 

Evaporation from every wet and watery surface forms the clouds, 
which distil the rains, which again fill the river-beds. Such is the trans- 
formation round of water. 


Delivered before the Scottish Geographical Society at 
Edinburgh, 3d February 1885. 

By Frederick L. Maitland Mora. 

I have been asked to describe the Eastern Route to Central Africa. It 
is essentially Livingstone's route. Taking up the work for which he 
lived and died, the Free Church of Scotland's Mission had a small screw- 
steamer built, the Bala, and in 1875 their party started for Nyassa, 
the steamer being transported in sections by the natives to the head 
of the Murchison Cataracts, where it was put together. The following 
year, the Established Church sent out the mission now stationed at 
Rlantyre, on the highlands, near the Murchison Cataracts. In order to 
supply goods and provisions to these and other stations since formed, as 
well as to check the slave-trade, by developing commerce and encouraging 
the growing of ordinary agricultural products, some gentlemen in Glasgow 


and Edinburgh decided to form a trading company. To commence with, 
ivory was expected to be the only source of profit, but it was hoped that 
ere long steam navigation would make transit so easy that grain and other 
commodities might be profitably exported. 

A moment's consideration will show how much more of a civilising 
influence this latter trade would exert — necessitating as it does steady 
labour and pacific relations, and reaching also a far wider circle of 
people — than trade in ivory, which is mostly in the hands of Zanzibar 
Arabs or chiefs, the ordinary natives having nothing to do with it, and 
reaping no benefit from it. The work of the Company was taken up by 
my brother and others, as well as by myself, in the hope that it might 
serve not only useful ends in connection with commerce, but also other 
and more permanent purposes which we esteemed more highly. Such, 
briefly, was the origin of the African Lakes Company. Let me now 
proceed to describe its route to the interior. 

Currie's Castle Line of steamers takes us in six weeks to the Portu- 
guese town of Quilimane. This town is still often described as at the 
mouth of the Zambesi, but this is incorrect. That river discharges itself 
into the sea by three principal mouths, the most southerly of which, the 
Kongoni, is generally considered the best. Quilimane is situated 70 
miles north of this mouth, on the Quilimane or Kwakwa Liver, as it is 
called at different parts of its course. Delay is here inevitable, to allow 
goods to be passed through the custom-house, and passports procured for 
travelling inland. To prevent the town being washed away, a sea-wall was 
lately built, with a pier at which to load and discharge boats and lighters. 
This is a great improvement on the old plan of landing passengers ; 
as it can be readily understood that the edge might be taken off the 
day's enjoyment when a mail passenger, wishing to visit some acquaint- 
ance ashore, was, by an unlucky slip of the Xegro carrying him pickaback 
from his boat, shot off his shoulders into six inches of water and eighteen 
inches of mud. At many points along the Kwakwa the mud is so deep as 
to be impassable. Even at the ordinary landing-places the natives sink 
beyond the knees, and often, when a white man is carried ashore, there is 
a good deal of transference from shoulder to shoulder before terra firma is 

From Quilimane the start is made inland in shallow-draft boats ; ours 
having wooden houses in the stern for protection against rain and weather. 
For the first day and a half the time and duration of travelling depend 
on the tide, which runs up about 70 miles, and is so strong that paddling 
against it is waste of time and energy. Leaving tidal waters with their 
mud, we reach Afric's golden sand, of which we have far too much : I 
refer to the sand, not the gold. Owing to its shifting character, it is the 
great difficulty in the navigation of African rivers. The banks of a river 
are washed away by floods, and a broad channel is formed. Over this the 
sand spreads itself as evenly as possible, so that what should be a respect- 
able river 10 yards broad, aspires in places to a breadth of 50 yards, 


and becomes almost unmivigal>le. Here the men lay aside their paddles 
and take to poling, in which they are very expert. Both the poling and 
paddling they often accompany with a wild weird chant or boat-song, very 
monotonous, often with a touch of music in the cadence, but certainly 
always with plenty of noise. 

The country is one vast plain joining with the delta of the Zambesi. In 
the blue distance to the north-west you can descry from the bank Moruni- 
bala Mountain. There are also some lands above the general level at 
Mopea, Shupanga, and Shimwara, but in the distance they do not show. 

Near the coast, on the mud-banks, mangroves abound, trees and under- 
wood alike enlivened by monkeys, curlews, divers, and ibises. Croco- 
diles are plentiful at the junction of fresh and salt water, and also in the 
lakelets. Farther up, where the banks are higher, villages with cultivated 
patches stretch on either side, while in the reedy islets in the channel 
flocks of wild duck and an occasional spur-winged goose rouse alike appe- 
tite and sporting instinct in the breast of the traveller. For the last 
20 miles of the way, the course of the Kwakwa can easily be traced 
by the thousands of graceful palmyras that fringe it. Some most pic- 
turesque bits occur in this reach of the river, which in its course forms a 
number of beautiful lakelets. Very lovely they look, as you glide in the 
the calm daylight over the still water, each palm and creeper reflected in 
the mirror-like surface ; no sound to break the silence, save the paddles of 
your own boat or the twitter of the pretty blue and red kingfisher as it 
flits confidingly from reed to reed, with now and then the screeching of a 
brown and white fish-eagle overhead. But another kind of charm comes 
when you are joined by the other boats and canoes with their noisy 
activity, or when, as night closes in, fifty camp-fires stand out clearly 
against the dark background of tree and palm, throwing their cheery 
radiance far over the placid moonlit water, and lighting up the dusky 
forins that flit about like shadows or lie basking in the blaze. 

At Marendinny we leave the Kwakwa for our station at Maruru on the 
Zambesi. The length of this, the first portage, is about 5 miles. Maruru 
was purchased by our Company in 1882. There was then a frontage to the 
river of 150 yards, but the main current of the Zambesi, which was then 
washing away the bank some miles higher up, was, by the formation of 
new sand-banks, brought to bear against this part, and 75 out of 150 yards 
were carried away during the rainy season of 1883. During the next 
rains the remainder of the frontage and half of the house were washed 
away. It is thus the Zambesi treats those who confide themselves to her 
tender mercies. Within the last twenty years the stream has changed 
its course at least a mile, and it now flows 20 feet deep where, in Living- 
stone's time, stood a convent and two large groves of cocoa-nut trees. 
The Zambesi, in the dry season, is there about 1 h miles broad, enclosing- 
very large islands. When one of the great floods comes down, the waters 
rise from 15 to 20 feet, and the whole country is submerged, a water 
horizon being visible in several directions. The bars at the mouths are 
VOL. I. G 


bad and shifting, but as the Kongoni has lately been buoyed, we hope 
soon to have direct communication by it with the sea, and so avoid 
the Kwakwa passage and Maruru portage. At present we are met at 
Maruru by the paddle-steamer, Lady Nyassa, in which we proceed up the 
Zambesi and Shire to the Murchison Cataracts. During high floods there 
is water in most places to float a man-of-war, but the current is very rapid 
and unsteady, and in the dry season it is difficult enough to navigate, even 
with this steamer drawing only 2 feet. If Ave start from Maruru about 
midday, evening finds us near Shupanga, well known as the resting-place 
of one who nobly risked her life in that then unknown region, to accom- 
pany her husband, David Livingstone, in his civilising work. A huge 
baobab-tree stands sentinel over the grave. 

Fevers in this part of Africa seem to be inevitable, but often pass 
away as quickly as they come. If, however, complications arise, they 
prove very dangerous. I remember Shimwara, a few miles up the river, 
as the place where I most nearly succumbed. Providentially, I had been 
met a few days previously by a medical missionary, Dr. Laws, who nursed 
me through days of unconsciousness and months of subsequent weakness ; 
and I recovered. 

Two years ago, the lessee of the taxes in Shupanga district, a Portuguese, 
massacred some Landeens — some say to weaken their power, or, as others 
assert, to seize some ivory said to have been brought to the villages for sale. 
He invited across the chief and his men, and made them drunk. At a 
signal a Negro went up to the chief and blew his brains out with a revolver, 
and the rest were massacred. Then there was a rush across the river to 
secure the reported ivory, of which comparatively little was found. The 
Portuguese Government repudiated the act, and the perpetrator had to 
leave the country ; but what must the natives think of white men who 
commit such atrocities ? 

Formerly there were numbers of hippopotami in the Zambesi ; now 
as far as we go there are few, but on every bank lie those loathsome 
crocodiles, which make one's blood curdle as they slide into the water 
and disappear with the exception of two shining points — their wicked 
eyes, watching for prey. 

About twenty-four hours' steam from Maruru, we reach the junction of 
the Shire. From this point the country becomes higher, till farther up 
the Zambesi the hills culminate in the mountains, through which flow the 
Lupata Rapids and Chebrabassa Falls, and on the Shir6 the Murchison 
Cataracts. These waterfalls mark where the great inland plateau descends 
to the lower level reaching to the coast. 

At the Portuguese custom-house, a few miles from the confluence. 
Morumbala, a noble mountain, towers above the nearer Chingachinga Hills, 
but the river makes considerable detours ere its base is reached. After 
the dreary monotony of the plain, the change to this scenery of hill and 
burn is most refreshing, as is also the clear cold stream water that flows 
from the heights into the warmer Shire. Were it not for the tall and 


graceful palm-trees standing here and there, the long reeds and too 
luxuriant vegetation by the water's edge, the traveller could well fancy it 
a hill in old Scotland. A few miles farther on are the hot springs of 
Maziopissa. The waters at the source are almost too hot to be pleasant. 
Whether they have any therapeutic virtue or not I leave to the medical 
faculty to determine ; but, under the belief that they have, the natives, 
when passing, bathe in them, and a warm bath once or twice in a lifetime 
cannot at least do them much harm. Hot springs are by no means un- 
common in this region : there are several along the shores of Lake Nyassa. 

Speaking of washing in a land where sponges and soap are unknown, 
I may mention that the natives have a good plan. They cut a flat disc of 
wood 4 inches in diameter and about 2 inches thick, leaving a long- 
handle. They thoroughly char in the fire one side of the disc, and as 
they bathe they scrub their skins with this charcoal — quite scientifically 
sanitary ! 

Passing the mountain, we reach Morumbala Marsh, which during 
high floods is one vast lake 20 miles broad. When the water subsides 
large mud islands appear, and these are covered by a rank growth of rushes, 
sedge, and other plants, except where the natives sow their dry season 
crops. As the waters rise in the lakelets and shallows higher up the river, 
great masses of floating vegetation are detached and come down stream. 
So long as there is a fair current they pass on, but when they reach this 
great sheet of still water, a very little contrary wind will commence an 
obstruction. As the waters fall, these floating islands can no longer get 
over the mud-banks bordering the channel ; they consequently collect in 
great numbers and are forced into one compact mass, extending over the 
whole breadth of the river. The current passes partly beneath the 
obstruction, but most of the water still overflows into the marsh beyond. 
When this overflow water is insufficient to float a light-draft steamer, the 
river is completely closed except to small boats and canoes. But as yet, 
during my experience of six years, the block has always disappeared within 
two months. Probably, as the water subsides further, the overflow stops, 
and the current being restricted to its own channel, its whole force is 
brought to bear on the floating mass in its way, which is carried off either 
to be deposited in some eddy of the lake, or to be floated out to sea. 

On leaving the marsh, the hills above Senna, which separate the Shire 
from the Zambesi, approach pretty near, and from Morumbala northward 
stretches a range of mountains (including the peculiar cone-shaped Pindar) 
which continues till it is lost in the highlands. Mounts Clarendon and 
Milanji are the most conspicuous. The shores of the river are reedy, and 
often marshy, and sand-banks again begin to impede the navigation. 

It was here, at Chironji, that the Portuguese made their station on the 
edge of a swamp, and from this district the late rising of the natives 
against them commenced. Considering themselves unjustly treated by 
the soldiers and officers quartered among them, they rose, massacred 
the garrison at Chironji, and took possession of the stores which, 


during the disturbances on the river, we had deposited in the stockade ; 
and, united under four chiefs, they commenced marching on the coast 
stations of the Portuguese. Portuguese traders at Mpassas and Shamo 
were killed, and their stores carried off; the custom-house was broken 
into and cleared ; the French factory at Shimwara, and Dutch barges in 
transit, and some of our boats were looted. From this point they retired 
with their booty, threatening to return. They came back, and, joined by 
the natives along the route, swept all before them. As they advanced, all 
the whites retired, and their progress and pillaging were unchecked. 
Mopea, an important Portuguese station, with a military guard-house and 
cannon, was abandoned, the inhabitants fleeing to our Maruru station, to 
the Kongoni, or to Quilimane. For greater security we removed our 
goods to the other side of the Zambesi, formed a fortification of bales 
and cases, and made a camp. 

News of the disturbance reached Quilimane, and while the Portuguese 
were discussing what was to be done, and sending to Portugal, Mozambique, 
and India for soldiers, the foreign houses (seeing the imminent danger their 
up-country branches were in, and the certainty that, were the Machinjiri 
to come any nearer unchecked, the coast natives would rise and join them) 
formed, with the consent of the Governor, a volunteer relief corps. It 
consisted of only 15 whites, including representatives from the English, 
French, Dutch, and German houses. A Scotsman was chosen leader, and 
in one and a half days they started for the scene of war, with the native 
crews (ninety men) all armed. The party arrived at Mopea to find the 
Opium Company's station, to which the manager and employe 1 * had in 
the meantime returned, besieged by 2000 natives. The thirty Portuguese 
soldiers sent to the rescue were retiring as the volunteers advanced. 
The best house in the station had been burned down, the iron stores 
broken into ; and the Europeans, consisting of one Scotsman already 
thrice wounded, two Portuguese (one of them a captain in the army), and 
fifteen Bombay men, at their last extremity, were still holding the last 
house. Their ammunition being finished, the natives outside were heaping 
firewood against the walls to burn a breach. Inside, the Europeans had 
kegs of powder ready in the middle of the floor to blow themselves up rather 
than fall into the hands of the besiegers, and another ten minutes must 
have seen the end, when the sharp crack of our rifles told that a rescue was 
beino - attempted. The relieving party, encountering a very brisk fu'silade 
from the hundreds of guns and rifles on either side, and losing some men 
by the way, eventually cleared with their repeaters a road into the fort, 
and, once behind the earthworks, were comparatively safe. Now the long 
range rifles came into use ; and several of the enemy falling where they 
had collected about 900 yards off, the whole multitude fell into panic 
and fled. But such are the good feelings with which we are regarded, 
that three weeks later, I, accompanied by only six of our men, passed 
through their country, and received apologies for what they had done to 
us and assurances of friendship in future. 


From Chironji it is fully a day to the Ruo, where, on a neck of land 
formed by the junction of that river and the Shire, Chipatula, one of 
Livingstone's trusty followers, had a strong stockaded village. It has 
since his death passed, with the rest of the country, under the rule of the 
senioi Makololo chief, Kasisi or Ramakukan. Above the village lies the 
Elephant Marsh, but this is so intersected by crocodile-infested streams 
and swamps, that during the six years we have been there, we have only 
shot one elephant in this district. These animals are very shy, and fear 
the steamer. But there are herds of buffalo and waterbuck on the plains, 
and after the annual fires have passed over the country, and the young 
grass crops up here, while the hills are still dry and burned, some good 
bags of game may be got. 

Beyond the marsh the banks are higher, and the country is again 
more populous ; but the river becomes very shallow indeed, and difficult 
of navigation. This continues up to Katunga's village, where the Shire 
Junction Road commences. 

The staple product of the country so far is oil-seeds (ground-nuts, and 
gergeline). These are, however, bulky, and of comparatively little money- 
value. A small trade in rubber and wax is done : but the natives are too 
fond of killing the goose to get the egg>. They hack and cut at the 
rubber vines, till in many district- two or three years are sufficient to 
destroy all the plants in the neighbourhood. The vines are not distri- 
buted so liberally In -re as on the Zanzibar coast ; they are found chiefly 
in the woody ravines bordering the streams. 

The Shire* Junction Road is about sixty miles long, and leads past the 
series of cataracts, called after Sir Roderick Murcbison, which extend 
some 50 miles up the river. First we cross a level plain 4 miles broad, 
and commence to ascend. Near the base of this hill is a good deal of 
middling-sized timber. ( lonspicuous on the plain, otherwise covered with 
the usual long African grass and dotted with single trees or bush, is one 
patch of large trees which has escaped the ruthless axe of the natives. 
It is the graveyard, where many of the chiefs arc buried. The villages, 
as a rule, are near the river, which meanders through the valley, forming 
many islands in its course. On these, tall trees sometimes remain, as 
they are the places of refuge for the chief and his valuables. Across the 
river there is undulating country, wood and grass intermingled, till the 
view is shut out by hills to the south and west. 

As regards the road, the first ascent is very steep (about 1 in 6) for half a 
mile ; beyond that the gradients are fair, and compare very favourably with 
many Cape wagon roads. Like them, if used for heavy traffic, especially 
during the rains, it would cut up very badly. But Avere it only for the 
foot-passengers, the advantages of a cleared road are very great. The 

- grows 6 and 8 feet high, the dews are very heavy, and as the 
pleasantest time for walking is the early morning, in a few minutes the 
traveller on a native path becomes as thoroughly soaked as if he had 
walked through a river. 


Then in the spring months spear-grass is in seed. The seeds are 
somewhat similar to bearded barley, only longer and thinner. At one 
end they are sharp as needles, and close to the points commence hairy 
barbs which work them forward. "When ripe, these fall by hundreds on 
the passer-by, and pierce the clothes ; the effect is maddening. 

Another vegetable pest is what we call the cobbler's peg. It com- 
mences as an innocent flower, somewhat like strawberry blossom, on a 
tall firm stem, and the seeds are like those of a miniature dandelion, only 
instead of being soft down, they are strong, and furnished with minute 
hooks which fasten it to anything suitable it may touch ; woollen clothes 
are its favourite objects of attack, and as it thrives very freely by the 
road-sides, pedestrians usually come in covered like porcupines with 
these pegs. Fortunately, unless thej- are pressed, theyMo not pierce so 
much as the spear-grass. 

Passing three small villages, at any of which water can be had or 
a halt made, we reach the Company's head station,' Mandala. The 
situation is central, communication frequent, both towards the coast 
and inland. It is also healthy, being at an altitude of about 3500 feet. 
Situated a mile to the north is the flourishing Blantyre Mission. 

The majority of packages have still to be carried by porters, as the 
tsetse-fly abounds on some stretches of the road, and thus bullocks can 
only be used part of the way. 

The tsetse has the shape and appearance of a large house-fly, but with 
yellow bars across the abdomen. Its sting is painful, and its movements 
are so quick as to render its capture difficult. But on man no serious 
results follow. Cattle, when bitten, linger on sometimes for months, 
but die in an emaciated condition, from causes as yet undiscovered. 
It is interesting to note that while cattle die, buffaloes thrive in tsetse 
country ; horses die, while zebras and quaggas live ; sheep die, and goats 
survive ; dogs die, but jackals and hyenas pass unhurt. It seems to be a 
fact, that as a country is opened up and cleared, and especially when the buf- 
faloes, which seem to be fly-breeders, are driven off, the tsetse becomes rarer. 

Previous to the settlement of the British in the district, wars were 
constant. The Angoni especial^ (a Zulu tribe from a district to the 
south of Lake Xyassa) used to cross the Shire" when the crops were ripe, 
and carry off all they found — women, children, and grain being chiefly 
coveted, the men being often killed. Since then, till about two years ago, 
the country has been little harassed by them ; but at that time they 
crossed the river, and destroyed a few villages. Last July (1884) they 
made another raid, and overran the whole country, with the excep- 
tion of the British settlements. With the whites they declared they had 
no quarrel, and carried out this policy so far as to send back carriers 
whom they had captured returning from the river, so soon as the}" learned 
they were in our employ. A liberal-minded, strong-handed government 
is much needed to keep these unruly tribes in check and assure to the 
natives, as well as to the Europeans, the blessing of peace and safety. 


Leaving the settlements at Mandala and Blantyre, there is a con- 
siderable descent to the lower plain, and a comparatively level road to 
the river at Matope. This village is some 4 miles above the nearest 

It was in visiting this cataract to photograph it that the late Mr. 
Stewart and I nearly lost our lives. The hippopotami swarm below this 
point. We reached the falls safely, but on our return in the dingey, as 
we were crossing the river to avoid a herd of hippos on ahead, a big bull 
from another herd on the opposite side made for us. We expected him 
to rise near, when he would have received the contents of our rifles. But 
no ; the brute seized the bottom of the boat with his teeth, and gave it 
such a heave that I was shot over Stewart's head and plunged into the 
water, rifle in hand, revolver, heavy cartridges, and usual hunting acces- 
sories in my belt, and wearing coat, heavy walking-boots, etc. The rifle 
was consigned to the bottom, and I struck out shore wards. The hippo 
crunched the boat three or four times, till Stewart thought best to abandon 
it and follow, throwing off coat and encumbrances. The blacks took to 
the water at once, and, not being troubled with clothes, arrived first. 
When, after a long swim I reached within six yards of the bank, I sank 
overweighted; but Stewart was now close behind me, and, taking my 
hand, guided me ashore as I swam below water. My strength only sufficed 
to get one knee on the bank, and I fell exhausted. We were all the more 
thankful for our escape as the river abounds with crocodiles. 

Trying to reach Matope, we had twice to wade through deep water. 
With only one revolver among us, we had to retreat before a herd of 
buffaloes and camp out without food in a district with plenty of lions 
and mosquitoes — strange animals to name together ; but at the time, 
though the fear of the lions kept us watchful, the mosquitoes were the 
more active tormentors. 

From Matope we continue our route by water. The screw-steamer 
Ilala, placed on Nyassa by the Free Church Mission, though too light a 
craft for the weather often met with on the Lake, still keeps communica- 
tions open. The river above this is deeper than below the cataracts, but 
there are some reefs of rocks extending under water across the whole 
breadth, which require to be very well known before it is safe to navigate. 
The Ilala, in gaining her experience, got a hole 4 feet long ripped in her 
lower plates. 

The banks to near Pamalombe are fairly high and defined, but lose 
themselves in marsh at some places. In this lakelet especially, landing is 
almost impossible. It is very shallow, in many places being only 
4 feet deep. Fortunately the bottom is thin mud, through which the 
steamer ploughs without damage. 

To the east is the chain of mountains bordering the plateau, Zomba, a 
fine table-mountain, being the most striking landmark. 

Passing out of Pamalombe (the exit, by the way, is rather difficult to 
find) there are some 6 or 8 miles more of river, on which are situated 


Mponda's big villages. Mponda is known as one of the great slave- 
traders. Many Zanzibar Arabs stay with him, and have built comparatively 

large square houses. Much of the trade from the Bubica country and 
south-western half of the lake crosses the river here. Slaves in transit 
have at times been seen, though they are more commonly kept out of 
sight. They are ferried in large canoes across the river, which is about 
200 yards broad. Polygamy is common throughout the country, and 
Mponda is notorious for the number of his wives. When Young passed 
eight years ago, he was said to have 300, and since then they have any- 
thing but diminished. 

Leaving the river, which is sandy at its exit from the lake, we emerge 
on the broad blue waters of Nyassa stretching 350 miles to the north. 
The lake at the south end is divided in two by the mountainous pro- 
montory which ends in Cape Maclear, so that, on entering, it seems narrow, 
and only when to the north of that cape can one get a fair idea of its size. 

The lake is situated in a remarkable hollow in the great table-land, 
and is 1520 feet above the level of the sea. Hills are always visible at 
varying distances from the shore. At some places, notably at the Living- 
stone Range on the north-east, near Mount Waller, and between it 
and Bandawe, near Rifu and Cape Maclear, the mountains come down 
to the shore, leaving only little stretches which can be cultivated. More 
ordinarily, there is a plain of alluvial soil, varying from 1 to 10 miles in 
breadth, before the hills are reached. As a rule the east coast is deeper 
and more rocky, the west shallower and more sandy. 

On entering the lake we coast along and double Cape Maclear, when a 
voyage of 6 miles south-west takes us to the anchorage at Livingstonia. 

The site for this mission was chosen chiefly on account of the bay in 
which the steamer anchors. Rising directly behind the station and con- 
tinuing to Cape Maclear on the north-east, are high hills which afford 
shelter from the prevailing southerly gales, while Bird Island, seawards, 
gives protection from the occasional northerly winds, which are sometimes 
very severe. Fierce blasts come down from the hills at night, sometimes 
rendering a berth on board not the most comfortable bed imaginable, but 
the land is so near that no dangerous waves have room to gather, and 
the anchorage is safe. 

The steamer lies about 150 yards from the shore, so the station is 
clearly seen. The largest and best houses are the church and school- 
house, the store, and the manse — all good brick buildings. They are 
built in line, with, broad gravel walks in front. In the same line are about 
a dozen small square white houses, built and inhabited by the natives who 
are employed on the station. In the front are grass plots, laid out 
union-jack pattern, reaching down to the clean gravelly beach, with trees 
planted in them. 

The water of the lake is usually so bright and clear that stones, etc., 
are visible 15 feet down. Shoals of fishes up to a fair size come swim- 
ming round. But behind the station is a plain lying too low to be 


properly drained, which renders the place unhealthy. The hills are 
thinly wooded and rocky. From these rocks, which have baked all day 
in the sun, and across the marshy plain, a strong warm wind blows every 
evening, which all who have resided there for some time consider to be 
one of the chief causes of enervation and fever. 

On account of the unhealthiness and the consequent mortality, the 
principal station of the mission has been moved to Bandawe, half-way 
up the lake on the west coast; but Cape Maclear, which formerly had 
been practically uninhabited, now boasts several large villages of natives, 
who came for the protection a white man's name affords. 

On the east coast there is the chief Makanjira, who has many Arabs at 
his village and dues a large trade in ivory and slaves. I once met one of 
his headmen at the ivory market, six hours out of Quilimane. To the 
west is Mpemba's, another similar chief. 

From Livingstonia a long day's run takes us to Kotakota, where 
Jumbe's is one of the largest villages on the lake. He owns several 
dhows, built on the spot, in which he carries his ivory, white and black, 
to the other side, often to Losewa. "When the voyage commences, so does 
haling out the water, and it does not stop till the dhows are safe on the 
sand in some creek. But, with their large, calico sails, they make a quick 
run if the wind be favourable. When the Ilala first came up, Jumbe was 
very frightened that it would stop his dhows, but now he makes little or 
no attempt at concealment, sometimes passing with a load of slaves 
close to the steamer. He is at war with the Angoni, and has sometimes 
been pretty hardly pressed ; but two years ago he gained a victory, and 
brought back fifty heads of the fallen enemy to garnish his stockade and 
strike terror into the hearts of his foes. Since then he seems to have 
been master of his position. 

Another long day brings us as far as Bandawe, the present head- 
quarters of the Livingstonia Mission of the Free Church. It is situated 
on a small hill}' promontory running out into the lake. There is a large 
population, who have gathered together for mutual defence against the 
Angoni, who in this part are the scourge of the country. The mission, 
however, has a station at their headquarters at Mombera's, which does 
something to restrain them. 

The anchorage at Bandawe is bad, the hays being silted up with sand. 
The steamer therefore lies some considerable distance out from the shore, 
and in case of a gale coming on, has to run to Nkata, 15 miles north. 

About 10 miles to the north of Bandawe is Mankambira's, and on the 
opposite side Chetesis', both Arab chiefs with followings of Zanzibarees. 

On this coast, to the north and south, there are some small villages 
on the shore. If there he a rocky island it is chosen as a home, if not, 
some little bay shut out as much as possible from the dreaded Angoni 

On the third day from Bandawe, and passing Mount Waller, a noble 
table-mountain, and Deep Bay, we reach Karongas, whence the land 


journey to Tanganyika commences. The lake lias narrowed considerably, 
and the Livingstone Mountains on the other side are distinctly seen, 
their sharp jagged summits clearly defined against the sky ; they plunge 
abruptly into the lake. Here, on the west, there is a plain of 6 or 8 
miles before the first rise is reached. The land north-eastward is flat and 
surrounded by hills, and a beautiful country it is. The character and 
habits of the tribes here are different from those farther south, partly, 
perhaps, because they have not yet been overcome by the slave-hunters. 
To the south, in most places, everything seems sacrificed for safety. 
Houses are crammed together on a small island, or huddled in a small 
stockade. The grain- stores are built on piles 100 yards into the lake, or 
hidden in caves, or in the tall grass. They may have a few goats, but 
cattle are things of the past. 

Here, and especially a little to the north, there are no stockades, but 
groves, miles and miles in length, of fine banana trees, and nestling among 
these are the pretty clean houses of the people, placed for convenience to 
the cultivation, and not merely with regard to safety. The houses of the 
headmen are round, and very well and neatly made, the plaster inside 
and on the lintels being often tastefully corniced. The several houses of a 
chief are placed in the form of a square or oblong, which is weeded and 
swept scrupulously clean. Handsome large leafy trees are carefully 
tended to supply shade. The people are tall, muscular, and lithe, but 
not overburdened with dress. When we first went among them the men, 
and even chiefs, were fully clothed with five or six brass whipped cords 
round the waist, the women wore a strip of fine bark cloth, three inches 
wide, fastened to a similar belt. When they do get cloth, they, especi- 
ally the women, almost invariably try to manufacture it into a bonnet — in 
other words, they tie it round their heads. They have large herds of 
carefully tended tame cattle ; most of these have iron bells round their 
necks, and in the cool gloaming, " when the kye come hame," though not 
tended by bonnie lasses, but brought in at the run by little naked herd- 
boys, the musical clang of the big cow-bells, growing louder as they 
approach, and slowly dying away again as the patient intelligent creatures 
turn gently aside on reaching their own homes, one cannot but be struck 
with the quiet idyllic beauty of the scene, and fervently wish that peace 
and happiness may long continue. 

Many of the fields are hoed up into beds, square and trim as a market- 
garden at home. The men here do much of the heavy hoeing, the women 
weeding, sowing, etc. ; whereas, farther south, nearly all field-work, 
hoeing included, falls to the women's share. Cattle-tending and war are 
considered man's proper occupations. Men usually carry half-a-dozen 
dangerous-looking barbed spears, and, in time of war, shields. They are 
said to be treacherous, but I have found them pleasant to deal with, and 
when our poor friend Captain Berry was, while bathing, carried off by a 
huge crocodile, one of the biggest chiefs in the country followed, with a 
dozen men, breast-deep into the water to try and recover the body ; this 


quite voluntarily on his part, while he refused to let us enter that part of 
the river with him. The men are warriors, and many of them consider 
carrying beneath them — the work of slaves, but gradually these prejudice> 
are being overcome, and some now come to us to be employed as required. 

To return to the steamer, the whole north end is sadly deficient in 
harbours. There are rivers, but, though open after a heavy flood, the 
first storm drives a sandbank right across the mouth. It is no uncommon 
thing to find a river 100 feet wide and 12 deep within 200 yards of the 
lake, with a sandbank across its mouth over which you can walk dryshod, 
the river percolating through the sand. Sometimes sand-pits form them- 
selves conveniently, but of course these are not permanent. Too often 
the steamer has to anchor out in the lake, and passengers and goods have 
to land in boats. 

Avery important section of this East Coast Route is being constructed 
at the expense of Mr. James Stevenson of Largs, in the form of a road 
to connect Nyassa and Tanganyika. Its length is more than 250 miles. 
After traversing the plain westward for about 9 miles, the road has been 
cut in the side of a hill above the Rukuru River, to avoid crossing it 
five times, as was done by the native path. In the cutting some interest- 
ing fossils were last year discovered by Professor Drummond. Then 
commences the pull up to the table-land between the lakes ; this part is 
very hilly and difficult, and the road as far as it is made is a great 

Reaching the plateau, the traveller finds himself among a new set of 
tribes. For these 40 miles not a village will be found, and though 
there are some in valleys not far from the road, these are strongly 
stockaded, and the people again live in fear of their lives. They seem to 
be part of the Asenga division of the great Bantu race. On the plateau 
there are different tribes with different languages (we pass the Awiwa, 
Amanga, Amambwe, and Alungu), yet there is much less difference among 
them in their customs and manners than between them and the north- 
end natives we have just left. 

Maliwanda or Mwiniwanda is the first village reached on the road. 
It is about 55 miles from Karongas. At Chirenji, 2 miles from the 
chief's stockade, there is a Free Church Mission Station. It seems 
healthy, its elevation being about 4000 feet. 

The country is sparsely populated, villages of from fifteen to forty 
huts being on an average 10 miles apart on the road. The soil seems 
poor, requiring much fertilising ere crops can be raised. To construct a 
garden, a spot (say a circle of 30 yards) is chosen in a well-wooded 
locality. The trees are then stripped of their branches on this space and 
for 50 yards on every side. The better poles are laid aside to make a 
fence to protect the crop from wild animals ; the remaining branches are 
laid breast-high over the garden, and just before the rains are expected the 
pile is fired. The heat kills the weeds, the ashes fertilise the soil, the 
ground is scraped up and planted, the fence erected, and then the people 


hope for rain. Should there come instead, wind, scattering the ashes, 
the yield will be poor. The one process serves for the crops of beans, 
ground-nuts, pumpkins, maize, millet or maere. A family will probably 
cultivate three or four of these in the one garden at different seasons of 
the year. Africans as a rule, to avoid exciting the cupidity of enemies, 
rarely sow more than will barely suffice to keep them till the next cereal 
is due. Should a crop fail through drought, caterpillars, or locusts, the 
family subsists on fruits and roots till the next is ready. Fortunately 
there is enough of the uncivilised animal left in the Negro to enable him 
to starve for a considerable time in the hope of a feed in the future. But 
picture to yourselves this process of agriculture carried on all over the 
country, and the wonder is that any trees remain. As it is, there are 
really few on ground at all available for cultivation that do not show 
signs of the axe. 

What the Angoni are to the dwellers on the lake, the Awemba, a 
warlike tribe to the south, are to this district. The sites of the villages 
are therefore chosen for safety, generally on running water, if possible 
where there are steep banks forming a semicircle. Further, there are 
strong stockades 10 or 15 feet apart, the space between filled with thorns 
and underwood ; outside this stockade is a deep ditch, the narrow 
entrance leading through two sets of doors. The inner one is at the end 
of a narrow passage which projects into the stockade ; so that, were the 
outer gate forced, the besiegers would have to run the gauntlet inside this 
narrow stockaded passage, exposed to spear thrusts from both sides 
while they were attempting to force this inner door. But such is the 
terror in which the Awemba are held, that too often they have only to 
send a couple of men to demand a present, or to approach in force, and the 
village becomes deserted. From Maliwanda to the Saisi River, within 45 
miles of Tanganyika, not a head of cattle (formerly plentiful) is now found, 
a few goats being all the people possess. But once the marshy Saisi is 
reached, two powerful chiefs, Kwikera and Fwambo, have as yet resisted 
the Awemba, and they again have cattle. Kwikera's village is built 
on the edge of a deep swampy pool abounding in crocodiles. In case of 
need, he would take refuge with his cattle among these marshes, where 
it would require a venturesome enemy to follow. 

When Ave crossed in the dry season, at a ford some 6 miles down this 
river, we found a dried marshy plain on each side, with a deep stream 10 
feet wide floAving through it, spanned by a few small trees and branches. 
But on my return from Tanganyika, during the rains, the Avater had risen 
-A or 5 feet over the whole country. Kwikera's people were, as usual, 
very anxious Ave should stay a feAv days with them — "Why hurry away 
after one night's rest?" — and they related to my men a terrible story of a 
native carried off at the ford by a crocodile the previous day. But as 
the chief himself, in using many arguments to detain me, had entirely 
omitted all about the crocodile, which he certainly would not ha\*e done 
had there been any truth in it, I determined to push on. We had first to 


cross 200 yards of flooded plain, the water gradually increasing to 
chest-deep ; then to find footing on the primitive rickety bridge, which, 
difficult enough to cross when dry, was now 4 feet under water. We 
had to feel our way most carefully, as a false step would have precipitated 
us into the rushing stream. Then came another 200 yards of compara- 
tively still water, some of it so deep that, walking on tiptoe, it almost 
reached my lip ; men with loads on their heads had to take a long breath 
and go under, or jump to get a fresh mouthful of air. Small folk who 
could not swim had to be carried. And this in a still swampy river, 
which we knew in many places to be infested with crocodiles ! It was 
one of those uncomfortable experiences of African travel which one 
shudders to think of. As it was, the long exposure, superintending the 
crossing, gave me fever and dysentery. 

From the Saisi and Fwambo to Tanganyika so lately as 1878, there was 
a fairly well-peopled country, with several important villages. Zombe 
was described as one of the finest situations one could wish for a station. 
A strongly stockaded village with plenty of cultivation and friendly people, 
situated on the high plateau, on a pleasantly undulating slope, and with a 
beautiful clear cold stream, reminding one of a Highland burn at home, it 
appeared healthy — the beau-ideal of a site. It was arranged that our 
friends from Tanganyika should meet us at this village. But on our reaching 
it we found utter desolation; grass ranker in places than on the plains 
told where cultivation had been, hippopotami and buffaloes had laid waste 
the banana groves, the doors of the stockade were nearly impassable from 
thorns and creepers, while within and without, the whitening skulls told of 
the too common tragedy in Africa, of a fair and smiling country turned at 
one fell swoop to a grave and a ruin by the grasping avarice of some fiend 
in human shape. One pitied those who had lost their lives, whose bones 
lay bleaching there, but what of the helpless women and children torn 
from their simple happy homes to form part of some slave caravan I 
Happier, truly, they who were dead and done with it, than they who, ill- 
fed, overloaded, tied together in droves, at last succumbed on the thousand- 
mile road to the coast. From Fwambo to the lake, and on till we reached 
the Lofu Valley, a distance of nearly 90 miles, the villages and gardens 
were all gone, and it was one vast wilderness — the men and women who 
had entertained Stewart, Hore, and others at Pambete and Kasakalawa, 
all butchered, carried off as slaves, or fugitive. "We had therefore to 
pitch our tents on the sandy shores of the lake, and depend entirely on 
our rifles to supply the wants of our men during the ten days we stayed 

The table-land surrounding Tanganyika breaks down more abruptly to 
the lake than at Nyassa. Not three miles from our camp, a great wall, 
2500 feet high, rose in places almost perpendicularly. Farther north the 
hills recede, leaving plains or bays near the lake. At this point, the dead 
trees within the comparatively recent watermark clearly point to the great 
rising of the level of the lake some years ago, which has been already 


noticed by travellers. The waters have again receded many feet, and are 
still going back, leaving long tracks of bare rock, gravel, and sand. Three 
or four months is sufficient to render the sand almost impassable with 
grass, bush, and rushes. 

At Liendwe, near the mouth of the Lofu, there is one of the advance 
guards of civilisation in the London Missionary Society Station, where the 
Habari Ngema ("Good News") is being built in spite of danger and 
detention consequent on the serious disturbances lower down the line of 

Within twenty miles of this station, while we were on our march from 
Xyassa to Tanganyika, the fertile valley of the Lofu was the scene of a 
terrible slave raid. An Arab, Kabunda, who had been settled there for 
about ten years, having many houses and slaves, determined to go to 
Zanzibar with his ivory. So he picked a quarrel with Katimbwe, the 
chief, and took all his cattle : then organised a sudden raid through all 
the valley, and every man, woman, and child who could be found was 
seized and tied up. Very few managed to escape him or his keen hunters, 
and a caravan was made up for the coast ; but the smiling valley that had 
been known as the Garden of Tanganyika from its fertility and the 
industry of its people, now silent and desolate, was added to that already 
long stretch of hungry wilderness through which we had passed. 

The day after we arrived at the sandy shore at Kasakalawa on 
Tanganyika, we heard that an Arab caravan had reached the plain, a couple 
of miles to the south of us. It was Kabunda and his party. We were three, 
Lieutenant Pulley, Mr. Roxburgh, and I, with about fifteen armed blacks. 
Some of the armed Arabs came along evidently to inspect our force, so 
Ave thought it best to go aud visit them. Taking our revolvers and a rifle 
or two, we walked along the shore to where we saw the crowds camping. 
The sands were broad and flat, and behind there was a dense thicket of 
light trees and reeds in which the main part of the camp was hid. We 
were received in a temporary pavilion in grave sedate Arab fashion. 
Curdled milk was produced, and handed round ; and after some conversa- 
tion in Swahili we parted. In the afternoon our visit was returned, 
when we regaled them with coffee and biscuits; later, Kabunda sent 
us a lamb and a small bag of rice. To deal with so far he was the polished 
gentleman. He told us he was going on next morning, and would pass 
our tents ; his caravan was about 3000 strong, two detachments had gone 
by a road to the back of us, as could be seen by the tracks in the grass. 
Accordingly we were up betimes to see them pass. 

First came armed men, dancing, gesticulating, and throwing about 
their guns, as only Arabs can, to the sound of drums, panpipes, and other 
less musical instruments. Then followed, slowly and sedately, the great 
man himself, accompanied by his brother and other headmen, his richly 
caparisoned donkey walking along near by ; and surely no greater con- 
trast could be conceived than that between this courteous white-robed 
Arab, with his gold-embroidered joho, silver sworcl and daggers, and silken 


turban, and the miserable swarm of naked squalid human beings, that he 
had wantonly dragged from their now ruined homes in order to enrich 

Behind the Arab came groups of wives and household servants, laugh- 
ing and talking as they passed along, carrying the camp utensils and other 
impedimenta of their masters. After that the main rabble of the caravan, 
the men armed with guns, spears, and axes. Ominously prominent among 
the loads were more slave sticks, to be handy if any turned refractory, 
or if any likely stranger were met. Mingling with and guarded by these, 
came the wretched overburdened tied-up slaves. The men, who might 
still have had spirit to try and escape, were driven tied two-and-two in 
the terrible goree or taming-stick, or in gangs of about a dozen, each with 
an iron collar let into a long iron chain, many, even so soon after the start, 
staggering under their loads. 

And the women ! I can hardly trust myself to think or speak of them 
— they were fastened to chains or thick bark ropes ; and very many, in 
addition to their heavy weight of grain or ivory, carried little brown 
babies, dear to their hearts as a white man's child is to his. The double 
burden was almost too much, and still they struggled wearily on, knowing 
too well that when they showed signs of fatigue, not the slaver's ivory but 
the living child would be torn from them and thrown aside to die. One 
poor old woman I could not help noticing. She was carrying a biggish 
boy who should have been walking but whose thin weak legs had evi- 
dently given way ; she was tottering already ; it was the supreme effort of 
a mother's love — and all in vain ; for the child, easily recognisable, was 
brought into the camp a couple of hours later by one of my hunters, who 
had found him on the path. We had him cared for ; but his poor mother 
would never know. Already, during the three days' journey from Liendwe, 
death had been freeing the captives. It was well for them ; still we could 
not help shuddering, as, in the darkness, we heard the howl of the hyenas 
along the track, and realised only too fully the reason why. Low as 
these poor Negroes may be in the moral scale, they have still strong 
maternal affection, and love of home and country. How long are they to 
be at the mercy of any armed scoundrel who may care to carry them off? 
The remedy is to open up these dark and distant places by regular com- 
munication and commerce, and for such Associations as the International 
to step in with strong hand in support and defence of the oppressed. And 
then such horrid spectacles as we that morning witnessed will be things of 
the past, and the shores of Nyassa and Tanganyika may once again be 
peacefully settled by quiet villagers, and mission-work and education 
prosper among them. That such would be the immediate result is evident, 
for this Kabunda himself told us that had we but arrived a month earlier, 
to exchange his ivory for the necessary goods, he would never have left 

To sum up the route in a word, there are 4 days by boat and 5 miles 
of land journey, then 6 days by steamer and 60 miles of land journey, then 


6 days by steamer and 250 miles of land journey. Then the London 
Missionary Society's Good News, or the International Association's small 
steamer, will cany the explorer nearly 400 miles farther into the " dark 
continent." And with the exception of the 5 miles of portage, near 
Maruru, most of the other walking is done on comparatively high land 
— a vast difference from the broad, too often swampy, plains that have 
to be crossed by the Zanzibar Ujiji route. And though we, too, have 
to pass the graves of some noble men who fell pioneering the way, there 
is no doubt that the path thus opened is the best one into the interior ; 
and it only requires that the means of communication be improved, to 
enable future searchers in geographical or other scientific fields to make 
their base of operations, not Zanzibar or some fever-stricken coast port, 
but a comparatively healthy station, be it of the African Lakes Company 
or the International Association, somewhere between the great east and 
west watersheds of Africa, whence they may start on new voyages of dis- 
covery, or seek patiently to solve some of the many problems of that 
continent still so little known. 


Southward of the first cataract on that mystic equatorial river which 
the ancient Egyptians worshipped as a god, lies that tract of land towards 
which so many eyes are now turned. If a nation is not taught geography 
by its wars, at least many a place acquires thereby a tragic, if transitory, 
importance which it would not otherwise obtain. Of the physical features 
of the Sudan, therefore, a brief description may not here be without 

Belad es-Sudan, or the land of the Blacks, as the Arabs call their country, 
is divided from Egypt Proper by the natural boundary of the Nubian 
Desert, which opposes a formidable barrier to the amalgamation of the two 
peoples and to the extension of so-called civilisation to the heart of Africa. 
"It was," wrote General Gordon, " this boundary of the desert that kept 
the warlike and independent tribes of the Sudan quite apart from the 
inhabitants of Egypt Proper, and has made the Sudanese and the 
Egyptians two distinct peoples, that have not the least sympathy one 
with the other." 

Nubia Proper, or Lower Nubia, might be said to consist, as far as 
cultivation and civilisation are concerned, of that narrow strip of land 
watered by the Nile — which river flows through the desert like the life-fluid 
of the country, reclaiming from it a portion of land on either bank upon 
which the inhabitants eke out an uncertain livelihood. This cultivation 
in no place exceeds four miles, and at several points altogether disappears 

1 Compiled from the latest official reports. 



into the desert. After a course of about 3300 miles — the last 1700 with- 
out a single affluent or tributary — the Nile discharges the volume of its 
diminished waters into the Mediterranean through the Rosetta and 
Damietta mouths. The rise and fall of the river is as regular as the 
(Egyptian) seasons. It begins to rise at Khartum towards the end of 
. I une : La at its fullest before 1st September; and decreases regularly -from 
1st October until the next summer solstice. 

The Sudan, which includes the whole of that portion of Central 
Africa lying between the 10th and 20th degrees of latitude, is the name 
popularly applied to designate the southern portion of the Egyptian 
kingdom ; but it would be more correct to use the general terms : — " The 
Egyptian Provinces of the Sudan." "Equatorial Provinces," and "The 
Red Sea Provinces," as, at the present day, it extends to Lake Victoria 
Nyanza and to the south and east of Abyssinia. On the east of the Nile, 
the desert extends to the Red Sea, where Suakin is the only practicable 
port; and on the west we find a continuation of the Libyan wilderness 
that flanks Egypt Proper and embraces Kordofan and Darfur. 

Nubia was originally understood as including all the countries south 
of Assuan; afterwards Nubia Proper comprised all the country between 
»n and Dongola, south of this point receiving the generic term, Belad 
Mian. The name of Nubia was then given, in a more or Less 
restricted sense, to the countries in and around the valley of the Nile as 
far as the mountains of Abyssinia, and included Belad es-Sudan. Now 
the name of "Egyptian Sudan" is gradually taking the place of all others 
for the whole of the Egyptian territory below Assuan. 

Nubia Proper is by some divided into the Wadi-Kunuz and the Wadi- 
Nuba; the first extending from Assuan to Lebua, and the second thence 
to Dongola. The physical aspects of the two districts are almost identical. 
Granite and sandstone hills line the main valley for the most part, closing 
in upon it in many places, so that, up to Wadi-Halfa, cultivation is con- 
fined to the mere hanks of the river. At Wadi-Halfa, the second cataract 
begins, and extends for 100 miles in a series of rapids through the Dar el- 
Hajar to Sukkut, where the valley widens and the sterility disappears. 
Fertile plains stretch out on both sides, and the river is studded by well- 
cultivated islands. Here the Nile seldom overflows, and artificial irri- 
•n is necessary. Cultivation continues up to the third cataract, but 
contracts again on passing the island of Argo. AtOrdu, or New Dongola, 
Lower Nubia terminates, and the dreary and monotonous Belad es-Sudan 

The author of Egypt as if is speaks of Dongola as one of the finest 
of the Sudan provinces. The peninsula formed by the great bend of the 
Nile — misnamed in many maps the Desert of Bayuda — is, in reality, a 
tine savannah, peopled by several tribes, who rear goats, camels, and 
large flocks of sheep, and cultivate considerable tracts of land. In the 
course of this bend, the country of the Berbers is passed, to the south- 
east of which lies the province of Taka, one of the most productive 
vol. r. H 


portions of Egyptian territory. At Khartum, the capital of the Sudan, 
the Blue and White Niles (Bahr el-Azrek and Bahr el-Abiad) mix their 
waters, the former flowing from the Abyssinian Hills, the latter from the 
Equatorial lakes. Here the frontier of Sennar begins. This province 
may be generally described as bounded east and south-east by the Atbara 
and Abyssinia, west by the White Nile, which separates it from Kordofan, 
and south by the mountains of Fazokl. It is for the most part an 
undulating plain, increasing in elevation southwards, and, especially near 
the rivers, abounding in forests. The soil near Khartum is sandy, and 
mixed with Nile mud ; but farther south a deep bed of argillaceous marl 
succeeds, which, though apparently sterile in the dry season, is covered 
with crops during the autumnal rains. Due west, lies Kordofan, and, 
separated from it by a narrow strip of desert, Darfur. This province is 
in reality a huge oasis, or rather clusters of oases. Towards the south it 
is hilly, the principal elevation being a ridge called Marah, traversing 
the province longitudinally. Wedged in between Kordofan and Sennar 
is the Shilliik country, a slip of territory some 200 miles long by 
scarcely a dozen broad, the soil of which is fertile. To the west and 
south of this lie the Darfetit and Donga countries, now comprised in the 
province of Bahr el-Ghazal ; and to the south and east of the latter are 
the Equatorial Provinces, which are bounded to the south by Lake Albert 
Nyanza and the Victoria Nile. 

It is only possible, within the limits of this paper, to give the barest 
description of the provinces and districts of the Sudan. They may, how- 
ever, be glanced at under the following heads : — 

1. Lower Nubia. 2. Upper Nubia, comprising Halfiyeh, Shendy, 
Darner, Shaikiyeh, Dongola, Berber, Bogos, Taka, Fazokl, and Sennar. 
3. Kordofan. 4. Darfur. 5. Equatorial Provinces, comprising Mudirieh 
Lado, Mudirieh Makaraka, Mudirieh Rohl, and Mudirieh Bahr el-Ghazal. 
6. ShWfik District. 7, Bed Sea Littoral. 8. Issa, Ho rear, and Gallas districts. 

1. Lower Nubia. — Nubia proper extends through 6° of latitude from 
Assuan (24°) to the south limit of Dongola (18°), nearly 600 miles along 
the river. The first portion of it, Wadi el-Kumiz, reaches up to 
about 70 miles ; then follows Wadi-Nuba, to the second cataract. The 
average width of this part of the valley does not exceed \ mile. It is a 
glaring reddish desert, studded with black rocks, and with narrow strips 
of green, and a few palm-trees along the river. To this follows Dai 
Sukkut, where the valley opens and the excessive sterility begins to dis- 
appear, the date-palm here attaining perfection. Dar Mahas succeeds, 
and the fertile plains of Dongola, where the river forms several large 
islands, that of Argo being 30 miles in length. Remains of ancient 
edifices occur throughout the whole extent, but chiefly at Dongola. The 
whole population of Lower Nubia does not exceed 15,000. 

2. Upper Nubia. — After the occupation of Upper Nubia — or, as it 


was called, Belad es-Sudan — by the Egyptians, it was divided into six 
governments or departments, each department or mudirieh being under a 

mudir. Khartum is the seat of the Governor-General of all these pro- 
vinces. The inhabitants are mostly of Arab extraction ; some of the 
tribes are pure-blooded, whilst others have more or less strains of Negro 
and other blood. In .Southern Nubia the flora exhibits a great and 
beautiful variety ; and here, too, are specially found in great numbers the 
tree which supplies the gum known as "gum arabic." 

Halfiyeh, in which district is Khartum, extends along the Bahr el- 
Azrek, or Blue Nile, and the Main Nile, between latitude 14 c and 16° north. 

Shendy, in which district there is a town of the same name, was once 
the most important part of the ancient kingdom of Meroe, the reputed 
residence of the famous Queen of Sheba. Merde, which many assert was 
the cradle of all the sciences, is now a vast sandy plain, where some ruined 
pyramids are the only vestiges of its former greatness. 

Damer is to the north of Shendy, and was, up to 1820, a small inde- 
pendent State ; but there are now only 500 houses there. 

Shaikiyeh is situated on the banks of the Xile north of the so-called 
Bayuda Desert. The chief town, Korti, will be remembered as the head- 
quarters of the British expeditionary force. 

Dongola has already been sufficiently described ; and of Berber, Bogos, 
Taka, and Fazokl there is little to lie said. 

Sennar, however, merit- a closer scrutiny. This province is bordered 
on the north by the country known as Dar el-Halfiyeh, and on the south 
by Dar Fazokl. The popular traditions of Sennar represent that country 
as the original seat of the Macrobii, whom Heroilotu> mentions as the 
most remote of the Ethiopians ; ami that twelve queens ami ten kings 

lied there. The territory is, in general terms, a great level plain, from 
which masses of rock, chiefly granite, protrude at wide intervals and at 
no great elevation. Of these bare rocks baboons are the only inhabitants. 
The plain is covered with a black mould, the result of decomposition ; 
the argillaceous soil is retentive of water, and when refreshed by rain 
becomes exceedingly fertile, but in the dry season it has an aspect of the 
most dismal sterility. The population is very mixed, and no traveller has 
succeeded in determining distinctly the aboriginal race. 

3. Kordofax. — The limits of this province are ill-defined. In 
appearance it is a monotonous rolling steppe country formed of undulat- 
ing plains. In the north-west there are some compact mountain-masses, 
and south of the 13th parallel of latitude the country changes to flat, 
fertile, and thickly-wooded plains, from which the rugged mountains of 
Takalla and Dar Xuba rise abruptly. The triassic formation extends 
over the whole province, of which the new red sandstone resting on 
hypogen rocks is the most important feature. The soil is bad. except 
when improved by the clay and potash resulting from the detritus of 
hypogen rocks where they crop up. The steppes of Kordofan are about 


13o0 to 1S50 feet above the level of the sea, the greatest altitude being 
at El-Obeiyad, where igneous rocks, quartz, gneiss, and granite abound. 
The total population is about 280,000, including nomads ; and nine-tenths 
are primitive barbarians, the village population around El-Obeiyad, the 
Madhi's headquarters, being especially heterogeneous. Here it is that 
the air quivers visibly in the sun, and " moya helwa " (sweet water) is 
more precious than gold. Kordofan is, in consequence, an arid, unpro- 
ductive land, with a sparse population, yielding a scanty revenue; the 
inhabitants are low in the moral scale ; murder is very common, and no 
one travels without arms. 

4. Darfur. — Darfur Proper, or the country of the Fors, may be taken 
as extending between latitudes 10° N. and 14 3 X., and longitudes 22° E. 
and 28° E. The geological formation is very varied. In the west the 
mountains show a volcanic origin ; in the north and south granite and 
sandstone are the prevailing rocks ; in the east the soil is sandy, and con- 
tains a quantity of iron, which is worked to a small extent ; and in the 
north-east granite predominates, with the exception of a strip between 
Foga and El-Fasher, where red and white sandstone crop up. The group of 
Jebel Midubh, which contains both sandstone and granite, has been much 
distorted by volcanic agency, beds of lava being seen in all directions ; 
the greatest elevation does not exceed 3500 feet ; and the plateau between 
it and Jebel Tagabo is about 1200 feet. The Jebel Marah group is also 
of volcanic origin ; and about Jebel Turah, one of the offshoots of the 
main group, the height of the plateau is about 4400 feet, whilst the 
peak itself is about 5500 feet. Stretching from the main group, in a 
westerly direction for a distance of 30 or 40 miles, is a huge dike of white 
quartz, with a plateau of sandstone raised some 300 feet above the plain, 
which is itself about 3200 feet above the sea-level. To the south-west of 
Jebel Marah the plain is about 4000 feet above the sea, and the main 
peaks of the group rise to an altitude of about 6000 feet. The inhabitants 
report a large lake of brackish water, from which salt can be obtained, 
on the north-eastern part of the mountain. In all the depressions sand 
rich in iron is met with. In a southerly direction from Jebel Marah, 
there stretches a broad alluvial plain which is dotted all over with peaks 
of granite, giving the appearance of a range of mountains buried all but 
its highest points. This plain falls rapidly towards the north-west and 
south-east ; and the Avhole country has a constant fall towards the east 
and south-east. On the road from Darra to Shakka there is a plain of 
sand about 40 miles long and broad. The road from Shakka to El-Fashar, 
for three days, passes through a dense wood, where the soil is of sand 
and clay mixed ; it then debouches on a sandy steppe country, which 
stretches up to El-Fashar. The late General Gordon describes the eastern 
part of Darfur as " most miserable — a sandy, bush-covered desert — quite 
useless for any food purpose, with no water for distances of 40 or 50 
miles." There are no rivers which flow all the year round, and in the 


dry season water is very scarce. The inhabitants consist of the Darfurs, 
chiefly in the west ; the Berti and Tukruri in the east ; the Risegat in the 
south-east; while in the south the Bagarra Arabs and Tukruri are 
mingled. The population is said to be over a million, at least half of this 
number being Fors. 

5. Equatorial Provinces. — Up to 1877, the Negro countries of 
Egyptian Africa were under a separate administration to those of the 
Sudan, which were inhabited more or less by Arab races ; but last year 
all the provinces from the first cataract on the Nile, southward, were 
united in one administration under Colonel Gordon. The countries of 
the Negro tribes were now divided into four administrative districts, or 

Of these, Mudirieh Lado comprises the countries bordering the upper 
portion of the White Nile. The northern boundary of the province is 
the White Nile between the mouth of the Bahr el-Ghazal and Sobat 
rivers ; the western boundary may be taken as the River Rohl as far as it 
goes (all the Makaraka country on the south has lately been included) ; 
the eastern boundary is in no way defined, the province here embracing 
all territory where it has been found advisable to establish stations 
garrisoned by Egyptian troops ; and the southern boundary is marked by 
the northern shores of Lake Albert Nyanza, the Victoria Nile, as far as 
the station Mruli, and the territory of the King of Uganda, which lies to 
the north of the Victoria Nyanza. The vast basin in which lie the sources 
of the Nile is formed by a semicircular band of mountainous regions. To 
the east of the river, this band curves away from the Abyssinian hills and 
the neighbourhood of the Blue Nile, and has its apex towards the lake 
regions of the equator. In the valleys, the soil consists of a dark brown 
iron-holding clay, overlying granite detritus ; the slopes of the hills are 
well wooded with acacias and numerous other kinds of trees. The 
country for about 30 or 40 miles east of Gondokoro is inhabited by 
various small clans of the Bari tribe. 

The Mudirieh Makaraka lies to the west of the Niambara country, 
and is crossed by the 5th parallel of latitude N. and the 30th longitude 
E., the boundaries of which can only be approximately laid down. The 
extent of the entire territory, however, may be estimated at 70 miles 
from north to south, and the same from east to west. The province is 
one of the most populated of Africa, the Makaraka themselves inhabiting 
but a small portion of the territory. From Laguhm, the country north 
appears to be an extensive monotonous plain, and from the high plateau 
the country to the south is seen to be an undulating expanse, bordered 
to the south-west by high hills. 

The Mudirieh Rohl has several outlying stations in the Mombutta 
country, where ivory is collected from the countries still farther south. 
Towards the north, the country is principally low and, in some places, 
wooded ; to the east, treeless low-lying lands are visible ; and in the west, 


a short light-green grass succeeds to the high vegetation of the swamp 
lands, and covers a large proportion of the province to the north. 

The boundaries of the Mndirieh Bahr el-Ghazal are but vaguely 
defined, but may be described as enclosing the entire district watered by 
the northern tributaries of the Bahr el- Arab and Bahr el-Ghazal. The 
character of the country is very varied. The principal tribes are the 
Denka, Dyiir, Bongo, Dembo, Golo, Kredy, Sehre, Bellanda, and Babukur. 

6. Shilluk District.— The Shilluk tribe of Negroes inhabits the 
entire bank of the White Nile for 200 miles northwards of the mouth of 
the Bahr el-Ghazal. Their territory, which is not more than 10 miles 
wide, is more densely populated than any known part of Africa. The 
soil is very fertile, for, in addition to the rains, it is watered by the rising 
of the river and artificial irrigation. 

7. Bed Sea Littoral. — Suakin is the principal port on the Red Sea 
for all merchandise from the Nile provinces. Glancing at the Littoral 
and Arabian Gulf districts, it may be mentioned that the Abyssinian coast 
from Khor Nowarat to the straits of Bab el-Alandeb is generally low and 
arid next to the sea, gradually rising for 40 miles inland to the first of 
the three series of plateaux of which Abyssinia is formed. On this coast 
no river enters the sea, those that do exist losing themselves in the sand 
before reaching it. The Danikl Province, consisting of a strip of 40 miles 
broad, is rich in many products, but the trade is small, Massauah being 
the only port. The mountains bordering this fertile region are of great 

8. Issa, Harrar, and Gallas Districts. —On leaving the port of 
Zeila, en route for Harrar, the country of the Somalis is first traversed. 
In the Issa countiy, pasturage is not abundant ; it is found chiefly in 
ravines and other moist places, but depends entirely on the amount of 
rain. Although the land is hilly, the ground can be cultivated with 
advantage when irrigation is obtainable. The people of Issa are divided 
into three principal tribes : — Ebgali, of 47,000 ; Wardek, of 38,000; and 
Dallul of 45,000. 

The country of the Gallas Nolli, which is traversed by the road from 
Galdessa to Harrar, is difficult and mountainous, but is rich, fertile, and 
well-watered, and in these respects a great contrast to the Issa country. 
This region extends about 43 miles from the town of Harrar, the neigh- 
bourhood of which is inhabited by the Gallas Ala. 

The Gallas tribes dependent on Harrar can be classed under the four 
groups which surround it to the north, south, east, and west. In going 
from Harrar to any of these tribes, the routes traverse first a very broken 
ground, afterwards plains covered with dhura, coffee, sugar-canes, etc. ; 
and there are streams running in all directions. The country is extremely 
rich, and the central district is well cultivated by the Kuttu, who supply 
the towns of Harrar with the necessaries of life. 



By the Rev. James Gall, Edinburgh. 

The value and importance of cylindrical projections have been somehow 
overlooked ; and although Mercator's is only one of several, each of which 
has its own peculiarities and advantages, yet, until lately, it was the only 
one known. 

There are three, hut only three things, in which a cylindrical projec- 
tion can be perfect ; and these depend upon the way in which the latitudes 
are drawn. 

1. We may obtain perfect orientation by rectifying the latitudes 
throughout, as Mercator has done ; and this is especially valuable for 
navigation. But in order to obtain perfect orientation everything else 
must be sacrificed. 

2. We may obtain comparative area with mathematical accuracy by 
projecting the latitudes orthographically. But in order to obtain com- 
) tarative area we must sacrifice everything else. 

3. We may obtain accurate polar distance by projecting the latitudes 
isographically, that is, at equal distances. But, in order to obtain this, 
everything else must be sacrificed. 

My attention was first drawn to the subject in connection with 
astronomy. I had published An Easy Guidt to the Constellations, in which 
each constellation had a page for itself; and it became necessary for 
me to publish an Atlas of the Stars ' to show their connection. In plan- 
ning the atlas, it occurred to me that a magnificent panorama of the stars, 
including three-fourths of the heavens, might be brought into one map 
by using a cylindrical projection, with the latitudes drawn stereographi- 
cally and rectified at the 40th parallel. The i*esult was, that the constel- 
lations on the 40th parallel were absolutely perfect in both hemispheres, 
and although those at the equator were a little contracted and those 
beyond the 40th degree a little expanded, the errors were so small as 
not to be observed. 

One great advantage which this projection has over every other is, 
that several astronomical problems can be solved upon it, the same as on 
a globe. 

It then occurred to me that the same, or a similar projection, would 
give a complete map of the world, which had never been done before ; 
and, on drawing a projection with the latitudes rectified at the 45th 
parallel, I found that the geographical features and comparative areas 
were conserved to a degree that was very satisfactory. 

1 In a series of Astronomical Charts which I drew for the Messrs. W. & A. K. 
•Johnston, I adopted the Stereographic Cylindrical Projection for the Equatorial and 
Sub-Equatorial heavens. 


ball's Stenographic ^rejection ot the <Uodb. 

For General Purposes. 



Having more closely studied the subject, I read a paper before tin- 
British Association in 1855, and exhibited the three new projections — the 
Stereographic, the Isographic, and the Orthographic ; but I had not then 
thought of the supplemental diagrams, which add so much to the value of 
the Stereographic. 

The Stereographic projection lias this advantage over all the others, 
that it leaves room for supplemental diagrams at the top, on the same 
scale and on the same projection, which take up the extremities of tin- 
general map, and show their convergence towards the pole. 

The Orthographic projection also is a valuable map for showing the 
comparative area occupied by different subjects, such as land and water, 
as well as many other scientific and statistical facts. It is true that the 
geographical features are more distorted on this than on any of the others, 
but they are not distorted so as to be unrecognisable ; and so long as that 
is the case, its advantages are not too dearly bought 



For Physical Maps, chiefly Statistical. 

I have wondered why geographers never thought of using the 
Isographic projection with the latitudes rectified at the 45th parallel. 
Even for general purposes it is better than Mercator's, and still more for 
physical maps, where polar distance and comparative area are all-impor- 
tant. It is very simple, its geographical features are on the whole very 
good, although not so good as in the Stereographic ; and for isothermal 
and other lines connected with climate, as well as for comparative area, it 
is greatly superior to Mercator's. 

For general purposes, however, the Stereographic is best of all : for 
though it has none of the perfections of the others, it has fewer faults, 


and combines all the advantages of the others in harmonious proportions. 
It does not give perfect orientation like Mercator, but it gives it better 
than the other two. It does not give exact polar distance like the Iso- 
graphic, but it gives it better than the other two ; and it does not give 
comparative area like the Orthographic, but it gives it better than Mer- 
cator, though not better than the Isographic. The consequence is, that 
even without the supplementary diagrams, the geographical features of 
the earth's surface are better conserved than in any of the others ; while, 
with the supplementary diagrams the polar regions are as accurately and 
symmetrically represented as the equatorial. 

The Stereographic projection, though inferior to Mercator's for naviga- 
tion, is superior to it in the following particulars : — 

1. On Mercator's projection the whole world cannot be represented, 
because as we approach the poles the difficulty increases ; and after passing 
the 80th degree the map begins to run wild. For that reason, from ten 
to fifteen degrees of latitude are generally left out. On the Stereographic 
projection the whole world is represented from pole to pole. 

2. In Mercator's projection there is a great waste of room. Nearly 
one half of the map is occupied with a vain attempt to represent the 
Arctic and Antarctic regions, Avhile the habitable world is confined to a 
comparatively narrow stripe in the centre. In the Stereographic there is 
no waste of room. 

3. In Mercator's projection, the comparative areas are grossly mis- 
represented. For example, Spitzbergen appears to be three or four times 
larger than Borneo, whereas in reality it is five or six times less. In the 
Stereographic they appear in their true proportions. 

i. In Mercator's projection the polar distance is not only practically 
but theoretically ignored. The 90th degree is nowhere. This makes it 
peculiarly unsuitable for physical maps. 

5. In Mercator's projection the polar regions have no resemblance to 
the reality. In the Stereographic they are as accurately represented as 
the equatorial. 

It is always difficult to introduce changes when long established 
custom has created a rut ; and for more than twenty years after I had 
exhibited the three new projections before the British Association I was 
the only person that used them. But at that time I had not added the 
supplementary diagrams which add so much to the value of the Stereo- 
graphic projection. 

The first to adopt it was the late lamented Mr. Keith Johnston, who 
introduced it into his miniature Atlas, which was, I believe, the first of 
his publications. The next to adopt it were Messrs. Chambers and 
Mr. Bartholomew, who has done more than any other to make it known. 
After them it was adopted by Messrs. Nelson, Messrs. Gall and Inglis, and 
Mr. Heywood of Manchester. The late Dr. Keith Johnston when he saw 
it gave his hearty approval, and said that his only surprise was that it 
had never been thought of before. 




polar distance, perfect. 
For Physical Maps, chiefly Meteorological and Hydrographic. 



I do not know whether there is any copyright in new projections. I 
hope there is not. But if there is, I wish it to be known that I make 
no pretensions to it, and that every person is welcome to use them. All 
that I would ask is that, when they are used, my name may he associated 
with them, and that they may be severally distinguished as Gall's Stereo- 
graphic, Isographic, and Orthographic Projections of the World. 

Meeting of the Aberdeen Branch. 

A meeting of the Aberdeen branch of the Scottish Geographical Society was 
held in the Square Room, Music Hall Buildings, Aberdeen, on March 18th, when 
Mr. Frederick L. Moir, of the African Lakes Trading Company, delivered a lecture 
on " The Eastern Route to Central Africa." Mr. David Stewart presided, and there 
was a large attendance. On the conclusion of the address, the Chairman read a 
circular that had been received from Mr. Ralph Richardson, the senior Honorary 
Secretary of the Scottish Geographical Society, with regard to Mr. H. 0. Forbes's 
proposed expedition to New Guinea, in which an appeal for subscriptions was made 
to members of the Society ; and, in urging the appeal, Mr. Stewart said that he had 
just heard that the Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce had voted XlO towards the 
cost, an announcement which was received with applause. 

Professor Pirie subsequently proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman, which 
having been very cordially awarded, the meeting terminated. 



Mr. Henry O. Forbes, F.R.G.S., a member of the Scottish Geographical 
Society, who has spent the past five years in exploring the East Indian 
Archipelago, is about to undertake an expedition to the interior of New 
Guinea. To assist him in equipping this expedition, the Royal Geo- 
graphical Society gave a grant of £250, and the British Association for 
the Advancement of Science gave £200. These sums did not, of course, 
suffice ; and, after hearing Mr. Forbes deliver an address upon his past 
work and future expedition, the Scottish Geographical Society gave him 
a further grant. Being, however, so young a Society, and unable to take 
much from its funds, the Council authorised a special circular to be issued 
to several of the members of the Society and others, requesting their sub- 
scriptions towards furnishing Mr. Forbes with what he desired very 
greatly — a properly qualified European assistant. The response to this 
circular has been most gratifying, an exceedingly liberal subscription 
having been received from a member of the Society, the Hon. John 
Abercromby, and various other subscriptions from other members. In 
this way, upwards of £260 have been raised by the Scottish Geographical 
Society, which, added to the £250 from the Royal Geographical Society, 
and £200 from the British Association, amounts to £710. Mr. Forbes 
himself contributes £300, whilst £120 have been contributed by some of 
his personal friends, and £25 by the Philosophical Society of Glasgow. 
In all, a sum of nearly £1200 has thus been raised. No doubt, this is a 
very small sum for so important an expedition (and the Secretary of the 
Scottish Geographical Society will gladly receive further subscriptions) ; 
but. nothing daunted, Mr. Forbes has resolved to proceed to New Guinea, 
and will leave this country on his interesting but perilous mission when- 
ever his promised work, A Naturalist's IFo.nde rings in the Eastern Arclii- 
pelago, has been seen by him through the press. We may add that Mr. 
Forbes proposes to explore a portion of New Guinea recently annexed to 
the British Empire, and that H.M.'s Government have intimated to him 
that, though unable to offer him any financial aid, they will instruct their 
officials in and near New Guinea to give him every assistance in their 
power. If Mr. Forbes successfully achieve his purpose, he will have 
explored territory which, although now British, has never yet been visited 
by a white man. 


San Brandano. — "X" writes: — In Major Ellis's West African Islands, I 
find it mentioned that the existence of the miraculous " moving island " of San 
Brandano, in search of which Spanish expeditions were sent out down to so late a 
date as 1721, is still an article of faith among the credulous peasantry of the 


Canaries, the most current belief being that the island was one " on which a Scotch 
abbot, named St. Brandan, had landed in the sixth century." Can anybody 
acquainted with our Scottish hagiology say whether the legendary history of the 
.saint, whose fame is still great in the neighbourhood of Kilbrannon Sound, con- 
tains anything bearing out this claim of Brandon's to be regarded as the earliest of 
Scottish explorers ? 

Who are the Biirlaki mentioned in connection with the Kama and the Volga ( 
[They are not, as the inquirer seems to suppose, a separate tribe or race, but merely 
the bargemen (for this is the meaning of the word) of the river.] 


Scotland and Geographical Work. — Our correspondence bears gratify- 
ing testimony to the amount of interest excited by the article on this 
subject in our first number. The writer did not, of course, profess to 
exhaust the subject ; and, indeed, it is evident that material will soon 
accumulate for a second article on the same interesting theme. Meantime 
note may be taken here of a few of the more important additions that will 
have t<> be made to the list both of explorers and of geographical authors. 
First and foremost comes the name of Dr. John Rae, the Arctic explorer 
and the discoverer, in 1854, of the relics of Franklin. Rae, we are informed, 
was a native of Orkney, where there is a prevalent belief to this day that 
two of his aunts were the prototypes of Minna and I.rcnda Troil in Scott's 
Pirate. Then, among the names of geographical authors or editors, a place 
must be given to that of Bell, whose Gazetteer of England was published 
in Glasgow in 1832, followed a few years later by his comprehensive 
Geography in six volumes. A prominent place must also be found for 
that of Dr. Walter Graham Blackie, F.R.G.S., who has been for many 
years an assiduous worker in the field of geographical knowledge. His 
Imperial Gazetteer, first published in 1850, was at once recognised as an 
original and important contribution to geographical literature. It was 
followed hy the Imperial Atlas in 1855, and the Comprehensive Atlas and 
Geography in 1880. Mention may also be made of the Edinburgh I 
published in 1820; of the Glasgow Geography, in five volumes, issued by 
Blackie, Fullarton & Co., in 1822 ; and of Fullarton's General Ga-.<1ln ,■ of 
the World, in seven volumes, published in 1850. To the list of Scottish 
encyclopaedias which give due recognition to geography must be added 
The Popular Encyclopcedia <>c Conversations Lexicon, first published about 
L832, and still before the public in an extended and corrected form. It 
should have been noted in the article that the Encyclopaedia Metropolitana 
was originally a London publication, though subsecpuently acquired by a 
Glasgow house, which issued certain sections of it in separate volumes. 
Lake Tanganyika was inadvertently mentioned among the discoveries of 
Livingstone. It was of course discovered by Speke and Burton in 1858, 
but for our earliest knowledge of its extent and character we are indebted 


to Livingstone and Stanley, who explored a great part of it in company in 
1871. We shall be glad to receive further information regarding Scottish 
explorers from such of our readers as may be specially interested in the 


The Aberdeen Meeting of the British Association, 1885. — We understand that this 
meeting will commence on Wednesday, 9th September, under the presidency of the 
Eight Hon. Sir Lyon Playfair, M.P. The Geographical Section will, we believe, be 
presided over by General Walker, with Professor Donaldson, of Aberdeen, and Dr. 
John Eae as Vice-Presidents. The Secretaries of this section will be Mr. J. S. 
O'Halloran and Mr. E. G. Ravenstein. Mr. J. W. Crombie. Dr. Angus Fraser, and 
Professor G. Pirie are the Local Secretaires for the meeting. 

The Danish Scientific Expedition to West Greenland in 1884. — The Danes have 
naturally the most immediate interest in an exploration of their vast but not very 
valuable dependency in the northern seas. Their scientific expedition to the western 
coasts of Greenland last year devoted itself primarily to hydrography and the study 
of deep-sea temperature, and to the collection of the fauna and flora of the coast 
and coast-waters. The main head-quarters of the expedition were at Holsteinborg, 
on Davis' Straits, within half a degree of the Arctic Circle. One notable observa- 
tion as to the temperature of the sea near Holsteinborg was that for depths not 
exceeding 200 fathoms the coldest stratum of water was not that at the bottom, but 
between 30 and loo fathoms. Thus, on one occasion, when the surface temperature 
was :;7 "04 F., that at 30 fathoms was 33° '62, while beyond that it rose to 39' '56 at 
the bottom — 362 fathoms deep. Another series of temperatures showed 45 ''86 F. 
at the surface, 31°'64 at 50 fathoms, and 35°"78 at the bottom — 264 fathoms deep ; 
these last observations were made, however, in the confined waters of Disco Bay, where 
the surface stratum of water is much warmer, that of the air over it being at the 
time 50'36° in the shade. Very numerous specimens of phanerogamous plants and 
higher cryptogams were collected, some of them in places much farther north than 
they had been known to inhabit. As the expedition arrived at Godthaab in June 
and did not return till August, there was also opportunity for studying the customs 
and dispositions of the natives, both Danish colonists and Greenlanders. It appear- 
that on the whole the Danish Government is not popular with the Greenlanders ; 
and indeed, from one tale recorded by a member of the expedition, the relations of 
the Greenlanders with Denmark might be described as li strained." The trade with 
Greenland is a strict Government monopoly, but the Americans, who come to fish 
off the coasts, are reported to do a good deal of smuggling. When a rumour was 
circulated that a Danish war- vessel was coming to drive the Americans away, the 
Greenlanders frankly expressed their hope that the war-ship might sink ere it reached 
Greenland. They show the greatest unwillingness to learn Danish, but are delighted 
to use whatever English they can pick up from the Americans. They are, bke most 
hunting people, singularly improvident. They have usually plenty of fish and other 
food supplies in summer : they are happy but heedless, and are usually in straits in 
winter. They recognise the value of such vegetables as are to be had without 
trouble, but cannot be persuaded to cultivate them. Beindeer are now very scarce, 
having been extirpated in large districts for their skins merely. Many of the birds 
that used to be very plentiful have been driven from their old haunts into well- 
nigh inaccessible wildernesses. Such fishing as is undertaken is not conducted 
systematically, but for the needs of the hour. During the expedition, bright. 


moderately warm weather was .seldom interrupted by rain or snow. Light bre. 
were frequent, and were valued as serving to banish the midges, which are a torment 
in still, warm weather. The day temperature usually was about 40° or 50° F., seldom 
rising to 70° on very still days. (See Globus, vol. xlvii., No. 9.) 

Present Condition of Finland. — Finland occupies a curious position in tin 
Russian political system. Russia has crushed and incorporated Poland, has absorbed 
large numbers of Tartars, has exterminated or expelled the Circassians, and has 
largely Russified Georgians and Armenians ; but in Finland it appears that the 
Russian influence rather decreases. Though a part of the dominion of the Tsar, and 
bordering on the province of St. Petersburg, Finland has a very full measure of 
autonomy in regard to internal administration. The Emperor rules not as Autocrat 
of all the Russias but as Grand-Duke of Finland ; the constitution dates from 1772, 
and recognises parliamentary government. Tin- Established Church is Lutheran, 
and 98 per cent, of the population belong to it. This contrast to other Russian 
provinces is due to the fact that Finland belonged to Sweden from about the twelfth 
century till the Russian conquest in the eighteenth century, and obtained a pledge 
from the Tsar in 1809 that its religion, laws, and liberties should be maintained. 
The Finnish race is alien alike to Slavs and Scandinavians, being a branch of the 
Finno-Tatar or Ural-Altaic family, but Swedish is still the official language of Fin- 
land. Of the total population of 2,100,000 nearly 85 per cent, are Finns, the 
Swedes amounting to some 300,000 in all. In an interesting paper in the Nira 
temth Century, Prince Kropotkin affirms that the Finns arc as anti-Russian as ever. 
that the Swedish party grows weaker, and that Russians and Germans in Finland 
become rapidly Finnicised. Finland is making steady and remarkable progress in 
industrial prosperity, especially in commercial marine. The Finns, he -ays, hope 
to constitute an independent State, with its own language, constitution, and laws. 
Prince Kropotkin has had good opportunity of knowing Finland ; but as a Ru 
political exile, lately convicted in France for promoting anarchism there, he is 
naturally disposed to take the view most favourable to the revolutionary tendency 
and least favourable to the existing Russian regvnu . 

Future Arctic Work.— The New York Tribune publishes an article on this sub- 
ject by Lieutenant (ireely. This famous explorer says thai, ever since his attention 
has been drawn to Arctic work, he has regarded the route via Franz Josef Land as 
the true route to the Pole. The voyage and experience of Leigh Smith in 1880, 
1881, and 1882, leave no doubt that at some season of every year Franz Josef 
Land may be reached by a well-fitted steamer. This route presents unusual 
chances of success with the minimum of danger ; and it is more than probable that 
an English expedition will enter these waters. Chief Engineer Melville, U.S.X.. 
has in view an expedition by this route, for which two ships, with about sixty men 
and officers, would be needed. One vessel should winter in Eira Harbour, or some 
secure point near by, while the second should be pushed forward as far northward 
as possible, preferably by Austria and Rawlinson's Sounds, but, if that is not 
possible, along the west coast of Franz Josef Land, beyond Cape Ludlow. The 
vessels should be provisioned for three years, and the crews should be chartered in 
temporary houses to be erected on shore. A depot of supplies, for use in case of 
disaster, might be established on the northern coast of Nova Zembla. Lieutenant 
Greely then proceeds to give his views regarding the most suitable build of 
vessels and of Arctic navigation, and concludes his interesting article by saying : — 
" The Magnetic Pole of Boothia Felix Land, located by Ross in 1831, has probably 
changed its position in the last fifty years. Its relocation would be an important 
contribution to science. "With a home station in Repulse Bay or Wager River, 


I believe this "work could be done without great expense or serious danger. The 
benefits to be derived from such an expedition would not be confined to terrestrial 
magnetism. As regards ethnology, botany, and natural history, the country around 
King William Land is substantially a blank." 


Prejevalsky in Gobi and Northern Tibet. — Colonel Prejevalsky, or, more correctly, 
Przhevalskii, the leader of the Russian exploring expedition into Tibet, contributes 
interesting information on the progress of his party, in two letters translated in the 
Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, horn the Invalide Russe of 4th January. 
The first is dated from the temple of Chob-sen, Province of Kan-su, 33 miles north of 
Sining, 1 March 10th, 1884, and relates that he started from Urga, about 270 miles 
south of Lake Baikal, on 8th November 1883, with 21 men, 56 camels, 27 saddle- 
horses, and a flock of sheep ; the men all armed with rifles and revolvers, and under 
strict discipline. Immediately south of Urga the fertile and well-watered region of 
Northern Mongolia, abounding with meadows and forests, terminates, and the great 
desert of Gobi or Sha-mo commences, stretching from west to east, from Panwi to 
Khingan 2650 miles, and about 700 miles broad. Crossing it about the meridian of 
106° east, he found the first portion — 200 miles from Urga, or to about Zaire-asu on 
the route of Mr. Ney Elias — composed of steppes, covered with excellent grass, giving 
pasture to antelopes and vast herds of cattle belonging to the Mongols. Then begins 
Central Gobi, consisting of bare flat spaces, covered with pebbles, and cut up at 
intervals by low barren stratified ridges. Southern Gobi, known by the name of 
Ala-shan, is almost entirely covered with sand over a substratum of firm clay, and 
in places of stone, which is blown up into shifting hills 50 to 100 feet high. There 
is no water, and quicksands are frequent. This vast desert is subject to the utmost 
extremes of heat and cold, but is inhabited by Mongols whose flocks and herds 
manage to subsist on its scanty herbage. 

The party marched daily from 13 to 17 miles, and bivouacked at wells, or 
carried ice from the previous night's halting-place. The temperature in the tents 
at night went down to 15° F. below zero. 

In the western part of the Ala-shan, where the range of that name runs like a 
great wall separating the desert from the cultivated banks of the Hoang-ho, is the 
town of Din-yuan-in, or in Chinese Fu-ma-fu (38° 55' N. 106° 42' E.), the residence 
of a local ruling prince, whose acquaintance the traveller had made on previous 
journeys. From this they had 200 miles more of the desert to cross, and when still 
about 70 miles distant, they could see the advanced spurs of the towering mountain 
slopes of Tibet, which, under the successive designations of Nan-shan, Altan-tagh, 
Tugus-daban, and lastly, Kwen-lun, stretch from the upper Hoang-ho, to the Pamir. 
The first ridge was not more than 20 miles wide where Prejevalsky crossed it, but 
behind it lay a new world ; he had previously been passing places varying from 
3500 to 5000 feet above sea-level ; now they suddenly rose to 9000 and 10,000 
feet, with numerous streams, a fertile soil, and rich fauna and flora. The party 
hunted whole days in the forests of Kan-su and enriched their natural history 

The second letter is from Eastern Tsaidam, 8th August 1884, and relates that 
the party left the province of Kan-su in March, for the plateau of Lake Koko Nor, 
at an altitude of 10,000 feet, among meadow-like steppes, affording excellent 
pasture for cattle, and on which roamed herds of antelopes, wild asses, and 
khulans. The ground was often honey-combed with the burrows of the marmot, 

1 Sining is about 70 miles east of Koko Nor, in lat. -i6 J 37A' N., long, lul" 49' E. 


which feeds on the roots of grasses, and thus often lays large areas waste. The 
Koko Nor lie found to be 167 miles in circumference, and very beautiful, but was still 
covered with ice at the end of March. The inhabitants of the neighbourhood are 
Mongols and Tangutans, and the latter, often in company with robber bands from 
Tibet, oppress the Mongols most cruelly. Tsaidam or Chaidam, to the west of Koko 
Nor, is a vast salt marsh 530 miles by 70), which must have been at a corn- 
paratively'recent epoch the bed of a mighty lake, 9200 feet above sea-level. 

Early in May they reached the Burkhan-Buddha x Mountains, guarding the 
table-land of Tibet. Here they left all unnecessary animals and baggage with seven 
k'osaks, and to the number of fourteen set out for the sources of the Yellow River. 
The pass in the Burkhan-Buddha Range was 15,700 feet, and took three day- 
climbing, but the table-land beyond was from 14,000 to 15,000 feet high. Travel- 
ling 67 miles beyond these mountains, they came upon the junction of two streamlets 
from the south and west, at a height of 13,000 feet, which form the Hoang-ho. It is 
fed by numerous springs of a marshy valley 40 miles long by 13 wide, called 
Odon-tala, and in ( 'hinese Sing-su-hai or "The Starry Sea." The Yellow River 
here consists of two or three branches, from 20 to 30 yards broad, and 4 deep at 
fords and at low water generally. Fourteen miles lower it falls into a wide lake, 
and from that it pases into a second lake, which it leaves a very considerable stream. 
These lakes lie at a height of 13,500 feet, are each more than 80 miles in circuit, 
very beautiful, and have been named by the traveller Russia and Expedition Lab 
farther on, makings sharp bend round the ridge of Amm'-machin, covered with 
eternal snow, the river courses violently through the cross strata of the Kwen-lun, 
ami Hows toward China. 

The climate in Northern Tibet, even in May, was terrible — snow-storms were QO< 
unfrequent, and at night the cold went down to 9 C F. below zero — while the rain 
was often incessant in June and July. Bat even here antelopes, yaks, wild asses, 
mountain sheep, and bears abound. 

Prom this the traveller went southward towards the source of the Blue River 
(the Yangtze) or Di-chu, as the local Tangutans call it. The watershed 8 between 
the two great rivers was 14,500 feet high where the party crossed it. Farther south, 
in the basin of the Blue River, the country is Alpine in character, with rich and 
varied herbal flora, and is inhabited by the Kam tribe of Mongols. After travelling 
about 70 miles through the mountains the river was reached at a height of 1:2,700 
feet. With a width of 100 to 120 yards, hemmed in by mountains, the current is 
extremely rapid, deep, and muddy. 4 Not able to cross it, the traveller returned 
towards the lakes of the upper Hoang-ho, and on the way was attacked by a band 
«>f Tangut robbers about 300 strong. These were driven off with heavy loss by the 
Kosaks. with their Berdan rifles, who followed them up as long as they were 
within range, and then, attacking the Tangut camp, executed summary vengeance. 
Six days later another attack was made by another tribe, but though they took to 
cover again and again, their flint locks were no match for the rifle, and in the two 
affrays 4< t men and many horses were killed, while not a man of the expedition was hit. 

1 Bttrkhan is the Mongol name for Buddha, who gives name to the religion that arose 
in India 500 B.c. Burkhan-Buddha is thus a Inform name, and perhaps not correct. 

- These lakes have long been marked on our maps under the names of the Charing Nor 
and the Oring Nor. 

:; On the Bayan-kara Range, the Pe-ling Mountains of older maps. 

4 The sources of the Yang-tze lie in about long. 90° R. far to the west of where Pre- 
jevalsky here struck the river. Be calls it Di-chu, which is the same as the Pe-cliu of our 
maps, the Kin-cha-kiang or "River of Golden Sand" of the Chinese, formed by the junction 
of the Namisitu and Murtis-ussn in long. 94 42' E. 

VOL. I. I 


On the way back to Tsaidam, they came upon a party of gold-washers. They 

went no deeper than one or two feet from the surface, but showed " whole handfuls 
of gold in lumps as big as peas, and often twice and thrice as big." Colonel 
Prejevalsky thinks that in the course of time, " Northern Tibet will become a second 
California, perhaps even richer than the first in precious metals, lying in the soil 
over the surface of the desert table-land." 

Afghanistan and its Northern Boundary. — If even in Europe it is true that 
boundaries are the bite noire of the geographer, what shall we say of Asia, and of 
the conflicting claims at different times of Turkomans and Jamsheedee Afghans '. 
So long as these advancing and receding waves of nomads and highlanders keep to 
themselves, the geographer and the politician alike are indifferent to boundaries ; 
but when the time comes for civilisation to arrest the ebb and flow of barbarism, 
and fix a line, then the trouble begins. Twice we ourselves have fought with 
Afghanistan nominally for a so-called scientific frontier. Now, representing the 
Afghan, we are face to face with Russia, as conqueror of the Turkomans. It was 
the geographer who first raised the question, and it is the geographer who must 
finally settle it, in the shape of the surveyors and engineer officers on the staff of 
Sir Peter Lumsden. 

Twenty years ago, on 11th July lbCJ, the remarks of Sir R. Murchison, Presi- 
dent of the Royal Geographical Society, on the progress of Russia in Central Asia. 
led the Foreign Office to address to the Secretary of State for India, then the present 
Lord Halifax, a despatch on the expediency of entering into diplomatic arrange- 
ments with the Russian Government as to boundaries in Central Asia. Step by 
step Russia rolled south, like a wave, till in 1869, having extorted the Atrek 
boundary from Persia, it proceeded to claim the Afghan principalities south of the 
Upper Oxus, and so to threaten Balkh. Lord Mayo, having received the Amir, 
Sher Ali, at Umballa, as Lord Dufferin and Sir C. Aitchison have just met his suc- 
cessor in Rawal Pindi, persuaded Lord Clarendon, then Foreign Secretary, to send 
the Panjab civilian, now Sir D. Forsyth, to St. Petersburg, to fix amicably the 
northern boundary of Afghanistan. The confidential maps and correspondence 
are before us as we write. After agreeing to a boundary, Russia tried to claim 
Badakshan, but finally, in 1873, it accepted the line which will be found laid 
down accurately on the 1881 edition of the Turkestan map of General Walker, 
R.E., F.R.S., which he drew up after a visit to St. Petersburg, and which is based 
on the surveys made by British and Russian officers up to that year. Starting from 
the west at Sarakhs, midway between 36° and 37 3 N. Lat., the line trends towards 
E.N.E. across the Murghab to the Khwaja Saleh ferry, on the Oxus, somewhat to the 
north of 37°. Thence it is carried up the course of the Oxus and its principal source, 
the Panja, to the Victoria Lake, discovered by the Scotsman Wood. This " line of 
boundary, which has been approved of by the British and the Russian Governments," 
runs thirty miles to the north of Sari-Yazi, and sixty north of Panj-deh. This is 
the " Clarendon-Granville Agreement : ' referred to by Mr. Gladstone in the House 
of Commons on the 13th March. If departed from, because Russia has chosen to 
annex to the south of the line, in the name of its new Turkoman subjects, then it 
may be given up on the other side of the Oxus also, and so imperil Balkh as well 
as Herat. This is the danger in the future. An officer, who is in the midst of the 
negotiations and activities on both the south and the north frontier of Afghanistan, 
writes to us as follows : — 

" With the Sincl Sagar Doab Railway an accomplished fact, and a good military 
road down the British frontier, we shall be pretty secure. Personally I think a 
struggle for our Indian Empire not at all improbable ; it is not in the nature of 


things to be otherwise. But with our communications complete, and a more 
thorough organisation of our Imperial army, which seems imminent, we can afford 
to let Russia come on. I believe England to be very strong in India even now, and 
she has got money. As to Afghanistan, you have no idea how strong the Amir's 
Government is, and how searching and firm his authority. His subjects, and espe- 
cially the officials, turn green with fright if they are told they will be reported 
unfavourably to Kabul ; one and all arc agreed that never has Afghanistan seen 
such a mighty ruler. Robbery and plunder have been put down, even in the distant 
countries round Herat. This seems to have been done, too, without much military 
force. From Girislek to Herat there is only one regiment of regulars. His policy 
so far seems to have been most successful in keeping the chiefs owing the most 
nominal subjection in first-rate order, in frightening the officials, and in putting 
down all disorders and efforts at resistance, 'flu- members of the Commission, 
one and all, have been much impressed with this \ Lew of a united Afghanistan. No 
doubt this unity of control is in a great measure due to the exhaustion consequent 
on the war, and tu a widespread consciousness, which extends to the lowest and 
most IshmaeUte classes, that the two iron pots are coming uncomfortably close to 
the earthen pitcher; but, discounting all this, there is a great deal to be thanklul 
for in the present state of the country." 

Herat. — The Indo-Persian organ Shems ha- received the following from Herat : 
— "In pursuance of the Amir's orders, the old high-road from Herat to Peshawai 
via Kabul, known as the King's Road, will be repaired as speedily as possible, and 
the wooden bridges on that mute will be carefully restored. The Heratis, who are 
Sunnis, like the Turkomans, but whose nationality and language are Persian, are 
opposed to both English and Russians. Already trade between Merv and Herat, 
which but two years ago was flourishing, has been reduced to next to nothing since 
the Russians have been in possession of the latter town. English engineers are 
surveying the entire district between Herat and Sarakhs." 

The Aborigines of Formosa. — The island of Formosa has acquired some fresh in- 
terest of late from being the scene of French naval operations. On its own account, 
however, it deserves a greater share of attention, both from a geographical and from 
a commercial point of view, than has yet been bestowed upon it ; and a description 
of it, " compiled from official and other sources " by Mr. L. C. Hopkins, at the 
request of Sir H. Parkes, late British Minister at Pekin, contains some welcome 
additions to our somewhat scanty knowledge of this rich and beautiful island. 
Mr. Hopkins gives the greatest length of the island at 23"> miles ; its area at 
14,nf>0 scpiare miles; and the total population, guessed rather than computed, at 
from two to three millions, "probably an excessive estimate," he adds. The 
foreign trade, carried on at the two treaty ports of Tamsuy and Tai-wan, is worth 
rather less than two millions per annum, the great bulk of it being in British 
hands. Mount Morrison, the culminating point of the axial range of Formosa. 
reaches a height of 12,000 feet ; the slopes of these forest-covered mountains and 
the east coast are still in the possession of the wild aboriginal tribes. Mr. Hopkins 
has interesting notes on the history, the climate, and the productions of Formosa. 
Its natural resources, he says, "are capable of a development practically limited 
only by the demand for its products abroad. Apart from its mineral resources, of 
which coal, sulphur, and petroleum are already known to exist in its very imper- 
fectly explored territory, the island should produce rice, sugar, tea, campbor-wood. 
hemp, indigo, rattans, hard woods, turmeric, and cassia." Describing the almost 
incredible violence of the tornadoes that sweep the Formosan seas, he states that 
" the torrents of rain appear like masses of steam being swept along the ground. 


while the surface of the rivers is, or seems to be, lifted bodily in sheets and thrown 
on the land." But the portion of the report which will be read with most interest 
is that dealing with the peculiar elements of the Formosan population. These are 
four in number — the independent savages, the Pepohuana or reclaimed savages, the 
Hakka immigrants from the mainland, and the non-Hakka Chinese, also immigrants 
from the mainland. The first of these, he says, are "perhaps of Malay race. They 
are divided into a large number of clans, and inhabit the whole region of forest- 
covered mountains of central and eastern Formosa. Their time is passed in 
hunting, but they do not lead a wandering life, and do not depend entirely on the 
proceeds of the chase for subsistence. Those of the men who, through age or 
infirmity, are unable to hunt, till the ground with the women, raising crops of 
millet and other food for the rest of the tribe. The women also weave cloth of two 
kinds, known as ' savage cloth ' and ' pine-apple cloth,' the first a sort of grass 
cloth, the latter a fabric made from pine-apple leaf fibre. These people live 
together in villages, and, in spite of the extreme hostility which they not unnaturally 
bear to the encroaching Chinese, are by nature civil and polite. In the constant 
skirmishes between the Chinese borderers and the aborigines, the day is by no 
means always to the former ; indeed, the savages appear sometimes to regain lost 
ground." The Pepohuans are found scattered throughout nearly the whole length 
of the island, but occupy chiefly the sterile and hilly lands at the foot of 
the great mountain-ranges where, as Mr. Hopkins says, " they are neither free 
from the coveteousness of the Chinese, nor always secure from attack by the 
untamed aborigines." His information leads him to regard them as " the ancient 
pre-Chinese inhabitants of the flat lands, from which they have been gradually 
driven by the Hakka and other Chinese settlers, until they are now being pushed 
on to the very verge of the savage territory. Large and well-built physically, they 
are mild and inoffensive in disposition, and seem to have received Christianity 
and teaching from the Dutch in the seventeenth century." Twenty-five miles 
■south of Kelung, and extending to Suao Bay, is the beautiful valley of Kapsulan, 
a fertile rice-field hemmed in by mountains, and studded with Pepohuan villages ; 
and concerning it recent reports say that " Christianity is spreading rapidly amongst 
the population." The Hakka immigrants are a strongly marked and important 
feature of the Formosan population. " It is they who carry on the barter trade 
with the savages, whom they supply with guns, powder, and knives, mostly of 
their own manufacture, receiving in exchange skins, hardwood, camphor, and the 
native cloth. They are the camphor manufacturers also, and have many thriving 
villages on these border marches, where they live independent of the Chinese 
administration. Up to 1874 many of the large Hakka villages would not even 
allow an official to enter their fortified precincts. These independent village 
communities carried on the barter trade with the savages, in which no outsiders 
could participate. Even official communication with the savages in most instances 
was only carried on through the independent savages and Pepohuans. Some 
change has taken place since that time, however, and aborigines in small numbers 
may now be met with at the capital of the island, and at other large places. The 
fourth and last element is the Fuhkien agricultural colonists, who call for no 
special remark." 

A Journey in Corea.— Corea, the hermit-crab among the nations, has lately been 
" coming out of its shell," and in a few years we shall probably know as much about 
it as about the Eastern countries that are its neighbours. The reports of Consul- 
General Aston, just printed among the Parliamentary blue-books, indicate the 
wonderful progress that has been made during the last two years in opening up the 


country to commerce. The chief events of 1883 were the opening to foreign trade 
of Chemulpo, the port of Soiil, the capital, situated near the highest point on the 
south branch of the river Han to which sea-going vessels can conveniently ascend ; 
the signature of treaties of commerce with Britain, Germany, and the United 
States ; the establishment of a British trade agency and steam service to the new 
port, and of a regular system of customs collection. The result was an increase of 
the total export and import trade of Corea by about a half — from somewhat over 
two million dollars to rather more than three million dollars. All the gain, how- 
ever, has been taken by Chemulpo, which, from a squalid village of fifteen hut*, 
with no commerce whatever, has at once taken the position of the principal centre 
of the import trade, the two old treaty ports, Pusan and YVousan, having suffered 
by its being opened. The "palace revolution" of last year had its origin, it is 
believed, in the anti-foreign proclivities of the Regent Tai Wbu-Kun, the kings 
father, and its effect was to put a temporary check to the rapid progress of foreign 
trade. In the circumstances, the fact that notwithstanding war alarms and suspen- 
sion of business the total trade showed no sensible diminution, is strong testimony 
that the commercial development may be expected to continue. Mr. Aston forwarded 
to the late Sir H. Parkes some interesting notes on a journey which he made in 
August last from Soul to Song-do, the former capital of Corea, and described as 
still "a bustling commercial town of some 40,000 or 50,000 inhabitants." The 
road traversed passes through Koyang, Phaju, and Changdan, and crosses the river 
Injingang. at a point where it is a tine deep stream 300 or 400 yards wide, and 
navigated by small craft engaged in carrying Bait, firewood, and agricultural produce 
between the capital and various places on the river. A solid granite wall fronts the 
landing-place, and bears the sounding inscription, "Gate for the Tranquillisation of 
the West ;" and the river cliff-, ablaze below with orange lilies and thickly wooded 
above, formed '"decidedly the most picturesque bit of scenery on the whole 
journey.' 1 The distance between Soul and Song-do is 160 li — say, over 50 miles, 
and the road through the great thoroughfare to the northern provinces and China 
is extraordinarily unequal in character — now a broad well-kept highway between 
lines of shady trees, and again "an almost impracticable track, over rocks ami along 
river-beds.'' Near Koyang a cliff ha- been hewn into two colossal rudely-sculptured 
figures, or rather busts, of striking aspect, one representing heaven or the male 
element, and the other earth or the female element of Chinese philosophy ; and 
the approaches of Song-do are lined with monuments, many of them of handsome 
appearance, erected " to dutiful sons and faithful wives, or commemorating the wise 
administration of the governors and other officials of the city." As for religion, 
however, the account of the Dutch visitors of the seventeenth century still holds 
good — "the Coresians have scarce any." Local administration is attended with 
great state and ceremony even in the small villages of Corea. Speaking of Phaju, a 
place of perhaps 200 straw-thatched mud cabins, Mr. Aston says :— " As usual, the 
residence of the Mayor and the public offices were buildings of considerable pre- 
tension, though in a very neglected condition. We were lodged in what was 
evidently the Chancery, from the official memoranda of all kinds and dates pasted 
on the walls, and from the chests of archives standing in rows and secured by 
padlocks. Some of these were tastefully inlaid with silver. Dozens of well-dressed 
officials were to be seen, and everything was done with a degree of state and ceremony 
■well calculated to impress the tenants of the cabins without. The chief magistrate's 
commands were repeated by a crier, whose prolonged notes in a high key, wdth ' a 
dying fall,' could be heard at a considerable distance, while the soldiers or servants 
who received the orders responded in chorus in a lower note, rising at the end into 
a scream. The ceremony of shutting the gates of the Governors office for the night 


occupied half-an-hour, and comprised a long performance on a drum, a horn, whose 
notes recalled the bagpipes, and an instrument which produced an interrupted 
snoring noise, like that made by the wind in the chink of a door or window." The 
soil is better cultivated than Mr. Aston had looked for, from his experience of other 
parts of the country. At Song-do there are important manufactures of oil paper, 
made from the inner bark of the paper mulberry ; but the most valuable product 
of this part of Corea is the drug known as ginseng, which holds so high a place in 
the Chinese pharmacopoeia. Of the mineral resources of Corea Mr. Aston does not 
speak in an encouraging tone, but the surveys made furnish as vet a wholly 
inadequate test. 


The Political Map of Central Africa. — The late Conference at Berlin and the 
treaties which resulted from its deliberations have materially altered the map of all 
the regiou of equatorial Africa situated between the two oceans. Yesterday, all was 
a matter of political controversy ; to-day, it is all definitely fixed, at least on paper. 
Portugal has seen part of her historical pretensions admitted and recognised : 
France has obtained, south of the basin of the Ogowe, an important accession of 
territory ; Spain has assured her authority at the mouth of the Muni ; Germany has 
obtained a footing at Cameroons in the west, and in Usagara in the east ; finally, 
the International Association, recognised by the civilised world as a sovereign 
power, has nominally taken possession of that part of central equatorial Africa on 
the banks of the Congo from its source at Lake Bangweolo to its mouth at Banana. 
Following from north to south the western shore of the continent, we find : — 
1. Great Britain, who has taken possession of the littoral of the Bay of Ambas, west 
of Cameroons. up to the village of Victoria. 2. Germany has placed under her 
protectorate, from the 15th July, all the littoral bordering on the estuary of 
Cameroons, from Bimbia in the west to Great Batanga in the south-west. 3. Spain, 
who acquires the whole littoral from Benito to Muni, occupying the two banks of 
this little river at the mouth. 4. France, whose vast colony lies between the shore 
and the Congo, from the Bay of Corisco down to Massabe, to the north of the 
Chiloango mouth. 5. Portugal, who possesses the enclosed land of Kabinda, 
between Massabe and Yabe, at the mouth of the Lounge, and whose Angola 
colony commences at Shark Point, south of the Congo mouth. 6. The Congo 
Free State, the limits of whose territories may thus be defined : — On the west, the 
littoral of the Atlantic Ocean, between Banana and Yabe; the parallel of Yabe to its 
intersection with the meridan of Ponta-da-Lenha ; this parallel, towards the north, 
up to Chdoango ; the left bank of this river to its source ; a curved line from 
this point to the cataracts of Ntombo-Makata on the Congo, leaving on French 
territory the station of Mboko, and on the territory of the Association those of 
Mukumbi and Manyanga ; finally, from the end of the Ntombo Cataracts, on the 
Congo itself, up to its confluence with the Bumba, beyond the station at the equator, 
whose limit, running in a north-westerly direction, has yet to be determined. On 
the south, the Congo, from Banana to a short distance up to Nokki, the north bank 
of the river belonging to the Association, the south bank to Portugal ; then, from 
Xokki, the parallel of this point, to the ( Jongo ; this river up to a point fixed in 
the neighbourhood of the 9th parallel, and a broken line running thence to Lake 
Bangweolo. On the east, the western shores of the Bangweolo, Tanganyika, Muta 
Nzige, and Albert Nyanza. On the north, the watershed which separates the 
hydrographical basin of the Congo, from that of the Nile, Shari, and Binue. 
7. Finally, the Sultanate of Zanzibar the sovereignty over which extends over the 


littoral, between the Juba mouth, on the north, and Cape Delgado, on the south, 
where the Portuguese province of Mozambique commences. — Le Mouvement 
Geographique, March 8. [Map illustrating above.] 

Dutch Exploration in Africa. Reports have been received from M. Veth, leader 
of the Dutch expedition, up to 2d January. Writing from Mossamedes, M. Veth 
had explored, he said, as far as Humpata and Hulla. He speaks in high terms' of 
the assistance rendered to him by the Portuguese officers. Of the Boers he met he 
scuds very favourable reports, and he does not think they are likely to return to the 
Transvaal. All the members of the expedition were in good health. 

The Togo Territory. — Dr. Hugo Ziiller, the correspondent of the KiJlnische 
Z< itung, who last December reached the summit of the peak of Great Cameroon and 
who is still on the West Coast of Africa, has published a .series of articles on his 
discoveries which deserve attention. There are, however, some inaccuracies wdiich 
should be noted. In regard to the Togo territory, the Avon lagoon is not 60 
kilometres long by 40 wide. There is a lagoon by the coast, and parallel to it, which, 
though comparatively small, forms two lakes, the one at Togo, and the other opposite 
to Little Povo at Sallivi Avemme. The lagoons near the coast are not always con- 
uected with each other, consequently the tides do not occur at the same time. The 
lagoon of Togo has communication with the sea at Great Povo and Weida, and 
some artificial outlets at Little Povo. The difference of the water-marks is very 
great. If the water is low, the lagoon becomes a labyrinth of rivulets, often very 
shallow, and the hanks as well as the islets are then covered with reeds. The lake 
near Togo is surrounded by undulating land which, farther inland, reaches a height 
of some 3<><) feet. Dr. Ztiller endeavoured to find some opening to the lagoon, but 
though he led an expedition to the extreme north he was unable to discover any 
channel in the undulating land that surrounds it. The supposition that it is 
supplied by the river Volta is certainly not borne out by the map <>i' the Ewe terri- 
tory published by the Bn mer Missions Gesellschaft. It should also be mentioned 
that the boundaries of the Ashantee and Dahomey kingdoms do not meet to the 
north of the Togo lagoon, as shown on some maps. 

Navigation on the Upper Congo. — The English missionaries of the Livingstone 
Inland Mission are about to launch on Stanley Pool a steamer called the Henry 
/.'•"/. This will raise to seven the number of small craft at present navigating the 
Upper Congo — four belonging to the Association, two to the English missions, 
and one to the French expedition. — Ja Mouvi meni Geographique, March 8. 


The Ascent of Mount Roraima. — By his ascent of Roraima, the enterprising 
young explorer and naturalist, Mr. Im Thurn, has undoubtedly drawn for himself 
one of the few remaining first prizes of geographical research. Roraima, as most 
readers may be aware, is a singular pillar-shaped mountain — the most remarkable 
of a remarkable group — rising from the sandstone plateau of British Guiana, near 
the point where the border-line of that colony touches towards the south-west the 
frontiers of Venezuela and Brazil. The limits of these countries are still so indefinite 
that it cannot be said with any certainty whether this "freak of nature" is within 
British territory or not. All the scientific attempts to approach or ascend it have, 
however, been made from the base of our settlements on the Essequibo and 
1 >emerara rivers. The first to describe Roraima were the brothers Richard and 
Robert Schomburgk, who, in 1840, reached its southern side by ascending the 
Essequibo ami its tributary the Rupumuni, and then travelling overland across the 


savannah and forest. Theix account of the mountain, fully borne out by the state- 
ments of more recent explorers, was eminently fitted to stimulate the curiosity of 
scientists. Roraima is part of a wall-like mountain mass, running in a north-wot. 
south-east direction, and forming the point of junction not only of three political 
territories, but also of three great river-systems. The general level of the sandstone 
tract — itself a region of peculiar interest to the botanist and zoologist from the highly 
specialised plant and animal forms which it contains — is not far short of 5000 feet. 
The base of the mountain, formed largely of rock debris and rich vegetable mould, 
and thickly covered with forest, slopes up steeply to a height of some 5500 feet above 
sea-level ; and on this pedestal Roraima shoots upward, a vast wall from 1400 to 2000 
feet high, "perpendicular as if drawn by a plumhline." From the summit of these 
cliffs sheets of water plunge down, and flow off in different directions to reinforce the 
Essequibo, the Orinoco, and the Rio Negro branch of the Amazon. The atmo- 
sphere is extraordinarily moist, and the ring of forest girdling the mountain is a 
perfect paradise for the botanist, so luxuriant is the vegetation and so numerous and 
beautiful the new forms of plant life. " Every shrub, herb, and tree," says Richard 
Schomburgk, " was new to me, if not in its family, yet as to its species. I stood on 
the border of an unknown plant zone full of wondrous forms, which lay as if by 
magic before me." The fern flora of Roraima shows a marvellous development 
and variety, and tree ferns are among the most conspicuous features of the vegeta- 
tion. It has been calculated that at least 200 species of ferns grow on the mountain, 
and that of these probably one-half are peculiar to it. Palms, cacti, heaths, and pitcher 
plants are also in great abundance, but perhaps the most rare and lovely of the 
flowering plants of Roraima are its orchid.-, many of which are superbly coloured 
and of fantastic form. The fauna of Roraima is almost as highly specialised aud 
interesting as its flora ; and the district is also of peculiar interest to the ethnologist 
from being the home of the Arecuna Indians, who have not yet fully emerged 
from the li Stone Age.'' But the crowning attraction of Roraima to the scientist is 
attached to the summit of the mountain, a slightly undulating and apparently 
forest-covered plateau, which hitherto has been deemed unattainable by human 
foot. The top of Roraima has been a kind of " happy hunting ground " for the 
imaginative naturalist : the supposition being that, from its absolutely isolated 
position, inaccessible to any creature not provided with wings, it must be a small 
primeval world apart, unaffected, or comparatively unaffected, since the date of the 
first upheaval of the mountain by the laws of the struggle for existence and the 
survival of the fittest that have operated so powerfully in the great world below. 
The history of the exploration of Roraima strongly supports the faith of those who 
hold that the word " impossible " need not be written opposite any task in the field of 
geography. Richard Schomburgk, from his view of the southern and south-eastern 
side of the great mural wall, declared it to be inaccessible ; the next visitor, the 
German botanist Appun, who approached it by way of the Mazeruni and the 
( 'ako, was of the same opinion, which was held also by Mr. C. B. Brown, who, in 
carrying out in 1869 the geological survey of the colony, reached Roraima by 
the same route chosen by the Schomburgks. This latter line of attack was that 
chosen in 1877 by Messrs. Eddington and Flint, who, like their predecessors, saw 
only the southern and eastern side of the wall, and, more cautious than they, pro- 
nounced it "possibly inaccessible." In the following year, Messrs. M'Turk and 
Boddam Wetham found their way to Roraima, by the Mazeruni, and for the first 
time glimpses were caught of its western and northern sides, which, however, 
seemed to them quite as unsurmountable as the others. In 1881, Mr. David 
Burke, an enterprising young orchid-hunter, coming by the Mazeruni route, obtained 
a view of the north-eastern part of the mountain, but did not take it upon him to 


Bay whether it might be ascended <>r not. Lastly, in 18S1 and 1883, Mr. Whitely 
spent some time in the neighbourhood of Eoraima and its twin-mountain, Kukenam, 
his line of approach being the Mazeruni and its tributary, the Carimang, and in a 
paper describing the results of his researches published in the Proceedings oj tin 
Royal Geographical So'iitii for August last, he indicated the opinion that there is 
at least one point— and probably more than one — where an expert cragsman, 
furnished with the proper appliances, might make the ascent. The feat which his 
predecessors had described as impossible or barely possible, Mr. Im Thorn has shown 
by practical demonstration to be performable by a single European explorer, with 
very limited resources. His plan of approach and attack differed from that of the 
other travellers mentioned. His scheme, as explained in his paper read at the late 
meeting of the British Association at Montreal, was, starting from the mouth of 
the Essequibo in the course of October, to make his way by canoe up that stream 
and its tributary, the Potaro, to the celebrated Eaietur Fall, a locality with which 
Mr. ImThurn is well acquainted from two previous visits. Having ascended to 
the sandstone or savannah region above the fall, it was his intention to push on by 
boat or across country to the foot of Eoraima, which he expected to reach "well 
within a month " of his start from the coast. The difficulties of the inarch over a 
practically unknown country full of rugged mountains and dense forests appear to 
have been greater than he had counted on ; but on 6th of December, in a letter to 
Sir Joseph Hooker, he describes himself as stationed at the Indian village of 
Teroota, on the south side of Eoraima, " in the midst of a very garden of orchids 
and most beautiful and strange plants," and as having on the previous day climbed 
up the precipitous mountain-slope to a spot at a height of 5600 feet, where he 
proposed, on a second visit, to build a hut. From the site of the intended hut a 
place was seen where an ascent of the cliffs could be made; but should this fail, 
it was his intention to pass round to the unvisited western side of the mountain, 
and there make the attempt. On the Ttli of February the explorer was able 
to telegraph to Kew from Demerara the good news, conveyed in a single word, 
" ascended." The announcement lias been supplemented by letters since received from 
the explorer, trom which it appears that he was fortunate enough to discover a 
Ledge running diagonally up the late of the cliff, and by means of this he succeeded 
with much difficulty in making the ascent on the 18th of December. Owing to the 
impossibility of carrying up hammocks, provisions, and firewood — for, contrary to 
what was supposed, there are no trees ; the atmosphere is bitterly cold and wet — it 
was found impossible to examine the summit except in the immediate vicinity of 
the spot where the ascent was mode. Enough was seen to dispel the fanciful idea 
of a "fossil world in the clouds " existing on the top of Eoraima. What was really 
found, however, was sufficiently strange and wonderful to reward the explorers 
labours. The scenery is described as " of the most marvellous description." The 
plateau is covered with groups of rocks of singular shape, piled up in heaps. The 
clouds are almost always resting on the mountain top, and everything is dripping 
with w r ater, which accumulates in little basins, is drained away in streamlets, and 
spills over the edge of the cliff in the waterfalls w T hich are so marked a feature of 
the mountain. Between the rocks is a dwarfish and somewhat scanty vegetation of 
a character distinct from what is found elsewhere in Guiana. Of these plants Mr. 
Im Thurn has brought away between 300 and 400 species, including some living 
specimens — " Heliamphora, three most exquisite Utricularias, two of which are 
I fancy new, and some other things." The only signs of animal life were a few 
small butterflies of a common type. It is mentioned in the Athenaeum that Mr. 
Siedel, a German botanist, ascended the mountain the day after Mr. Im Thurn had 
done so, and by the same ledge. All will regret to learn that the latter gallant 


young explorer was laid up with a severe attack of fever after his return to George- 
town, and that this has interfered with the preparation of his report. The full story 
of his ascent, and of his two months of botanising work at the foot of the mountain, 
will be awaited with a high degree of interest, and with a feeling of gratitude not 
only to Mr. Im Thurn, but to the Royal and Royal Geographical Societies that 
furnished him with funds, and Sir Joseph Hooker and the other gentlemen who 
gave him advice and encouragement in carrying out his adventurous enterprise. 

War and Canalisation in Central America. — There is trouble — but when is there 
not trouble ? — in Central and South America. As often happens there, as else- 
where, " the way to Avar has been paved with peaceful intentions," or at least peace- 
ful professions. News has been received that relations are on the point of being 
broken off between Brazil and the Republic of Chili, and that in the case of 
hostilities breaking out, the Argentine Republic is likely to join the former, and 
in this way endeavour to obtain a settlement of certain territorial questions that 
have been long in dispute. A rebellion, not unconnected, it is understood, with 
the progress of the Panama Canal, is making rapid strides towards success 
in the United States of Colombia. Farther north the Nicaragua Treaty project, 
rendered abortive for the present by the adverse decision of the Washington 
Senate, appears to have set all the smaller Central American republics by 
the ears. With a view, it is stated, of preventing the construction of the Nicaragua 
Canal, and the carrying out of the other terms of the arrangement between 
Nicaragua and the United States, President Barrios, of Guatemala, has issued a 
decree declaring that the time has come for the union of Central America into 
one republic, and adding that, with the object of realising this aspiration, he has 
assumed supreme military command. This has been promptly followed by a 
formal declaration of war between Nicaragua and Guatemala ; and later telegrams 
from Costa Rica indicate that the other republics are likely to join in the strife 
for '"union." From what is stated in the Panama Star, geographical questions 
of frontier have not a Uttle to do with the quarrel. The boundary-line between 
Nicaragua and < "osta Rica, laid down in the preliminary terms of treaty signed by 
General Zavala and Mr. Freylinghuysen, will begin on the Atlantic at Punta del 
( 'astillo, at the mouth of the river San Juan, which river it will follow up on the 
right bank of the river to a spot situated below the Castillo, and three miles from 
its fortifications. From that spot a curve will commence, the centre of which will 
run through the said fortifications and terminate higher up the river, and two 
miles from its bank. Thence the boundary-line will run parallel to, but two miles 
distant from the river, following its curves and windings, and along the southern 
shore of the lake, but always two miles from it, until it reaches the river Sapoa. 
From a point situated 2 miles distant from the river Sapoa, an astronomical 
line will be run to the centre of Salinas Bay, in the Pacific, where the dividing 
line of the two republics will terminate. A glance at the map of Nicaragua, 
after perusing the so-called Nicaragua Canal Treaty, is (says the Star) sufficient 
to prove the ignorance of the geography of the country displayed by those who 
drafted it. The right bank of the San Juan, to within three miles of Castillo 
belongs to Costa Rica, which republic is not consulted in the Zavala treaty. 
From that point onward, and round the southern edge of Lake Nicaragua, the 
republic from which the lake derives its name can only exercise jurisdiction two 
miles from the water-line. Ignorant of this circumstauce, General Zavala has 
signed a protocol conceding two miles and half of Nicaraguan territory to the 
canal builders, and, in all probability, intentionally opens a question in which time 
and thought will have much exercise before a final decision can be reached. 


The Hudsons Bay Route. — We have received from Winnipeg a copy of the official 
report of the Select Committee which was appointed by the Manitoba Legislative 
Assembly to inquire into the practicability of the Hudson's Bay route. It will be 
remembered that the evidence of a number of witnesses was obtained by the Com- 
mittee, many of the gentlemen examined having had personal and extended 
experience of that district as officers of the Hudson's Bay Company at their posts 
at Hudson's and Ungava Bays. The facts laid before the Committee have con- 
vinced them that the ports on the shores of the bay are open on an average from 
four and a half to five months in each year to ordinary vessels, and that both the 
bay and the straits appear to be singularly free from obstruction to navigation in 
shape of shoals or reefs, and during the period of open water, from storms or fogs. 
Bearing in mind the importance of the subject to the province, the Committee 
advise that steps be taken to secure the proper representation of Manitoba upon the 
Dominion expedition to examine into the general question of the navigation of the 
bay and straits. As to the possibility of constructing a railway from Manitoba to 
the shores of the bay the Committee, from the evidence furnished to thorn, have 
come to the conclusion that no engineering difficulties exist to prevent the building 
of such a road. On the contrary, they are sanguine enough to entertain no doubt 
that such an undertaking would prove successful and remunerative, and would do 
more to stimulate production in the provinces of the Nortb-Wesi generally than 
any other enterprise. — Canadian Gazette, March 5. 

Thunder Bay. — The following proclamation has appeared in the Ontario GazetU :- 
"That from and after the fifteenth day of February now next, all that part of the 
provisional judicial district of Thunder Bay lying west of a line drawn due north 
and south through the most easterly part of Hunter's Island shall for the purposes 
except registry purposes mentioned in the revised statute respecting the territorial 
district of Muskoka, Parry Sound, and Thunder Bay, be detached from the said 
provisional district, and shall form a separate territorial district, by the name of 
the district of Rainy River." 


Exploration in Northern Australia. — Messrs. Stockdale and Kicketson, who are 
exploring the Kimberley district in the Northern Territory of South Australia, 
have reached the Katherine telegraph station, anil report having passed through 
fine country and found the climate magnificent. A river 4 miles wide, 100 miles 
inland, was met with, flowing into the Cambridge Gulf. 

Conference of the Geographical Society of Australasia. At the four days' Con- 
ference of the Geographical Society of Australasia Sir Edward Strickland was 
elected President, and Baron F. von Muller Vice-President. The first resolution 
proposed that the term "Australasia " should he strictly defined ; and the proposer 
suggested that the following definition would suit all purposes :— " Australia is that 
part of Oceania of which Australia is the geographical, commercial, and political 
centre. Limits : on the west and part of the north the 100° of longitude ; east, to 
the point of its intersection with the 2o~ south latitude, thence by a line running 
in approximate parallelism to the western and northern coast of New Guinea, and 
round its north-western extremity to the ecpiator ; thenc£ on the north by the 
equator, to its intersection with the 120° of longitude west ; and on the east by the 
120° to the south pole, including groups of islands on the equatorial line." The 
question was ultimately referred to a strong committee. The next resolution affirmed 
the desirability of a scientific exjdoration of New Guinea under the auspices of the 
Society. A corollary calling on the Government to define the boundaries of the 


British possessions in that island was rejected in favour of one for complete annexa- 
tion. The formation of Geographical Societies, and their affiliation with the central 
body, in South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia, New Zealand, and 
Tasmania was also recommended. The next Conference will meet at Sydney. 


An International Geographical Society. — It is stated that the King of the 
Belgians is conferring with M. Martinie, President of the French Geographical 
Society, on the subject of the formation of an International Geographical Society. 
— Nature. 

Mr. Stanley's New Work. — Mr. Stanley's new book will be called The Congo, and 
the Founding of its New State, and is already in the press. It will be a complete 
history of the origin and foundation of the new Congo Free State, together with the 
author's exploration of the Congo Valley, from the lower cataracts up to Stanley 
Falls, with all its chief tributaries and newdy-discovered lakes — in short, a full 
account of his doings during the last six years since leaving England in 1878 to his 
return from Africa last summer. The work will contain more than 100 engravings 
and five very valuable maps. According to Le Mouvement Geograjrfiique, it is to 
appear shortly. The French translation, having been intrusted to a member of 
the staff of that journal, is coming out in Brussels, and great efforts are being 
made to publish it simultaneously with the German edition (Brockhaus : Leipzig) 
and the English edition of Messrs. Sampson Low & Co. 


Rambles in the Far North. By R. Menzies Ferguson, M.A. Appendix. 
Pp.xii. 266. Paisley: Alex. Gardner, 1884. Prir, 3s. 

A chatty and pleasant book of Orcadian memories, mixed with much antiquarian 
and topographical lore and notes on the customs and characteristics of the islanders, 
and in style and matter much superior to the ordinary run of volumes written by 
that bird of passage, the British tourist. Mr. Ferguson, however, was not an 
ordinary tourist ; he had access to excellent sources of information respecting the 
past and present of the Orkney Islands, and he evidently took a vivid interest in 
all relating to the folk-lore and traditions of the people, and more particularly in the 
traces that may still be found of the period of Norwegian settlement and occupa- 
tion. It can be thoroughly recommended to all intending to visit the islands, as 
well as to the islanders themselves. 

Htudien und ForscMingen veranlasst durch meine Reisen im hohen Norden. Heraus- 
gegeben von Frejherrn von Nordenskiold. Mit iiber 200 Abbildungen, 
8 Tafeln und Karten. Leipzig : F. A. Brockhaus, 1885. Pp. 521. 24 Marks. 

The essays collected in this handsome volume were to have appeared in the 
famous work dealing with the voyage of the Vega. Not wishing to abridge then), 
however, Baron Nordenskiold wisely determined to publish them in a separate 
volume. To those interested in the subject dealt with, these papers will afford 
delightful reading, though they may feel disposed at times to disagree with their 
contents. The essays include : — The voyage of the brothers Zeno, and the oldest 
map of the north, being a lecture delivered by A. E. Nordenskiold in the Academy 
at Stockholm, April 12, 1882 ; the flora and fauna of the snow and ice, with 


appendix, by Veit-Brecher Wittrock ; geological importance of cosmic stuff' fallen 
"ii the surface of the earth (referring to the theory of Kant-Laplace), by A. K. 
Nordenskibld ; contributions of the Polar explorations to the knowledge of the pre- 
historic geography of plants ■Tflanzengeographie), by A. G. Nathorst ; contributions 
to the art knowledge of uncivilised tribes, by Hans Hildebrand ; insect life in 
Arctic countries, by Christopher Aurivillius ; and an article by F. P. Kjelman on 
the life of Arctic plants. There is also a supplement dealing with the voyage of 
the Yrga. written in a popular scientific manner, to meet the requirements of the 
general public. 

A Short History of ihe Naval and Military Operations in Eyypt, from 1798-1802. 
By Lieut. -Colonel Sir John M. BuRGOYNE, Bart. London : Sampson Low, 
Marston, Searle, and Rivington. 1885. Pria 5s. 

Though possessing no historical importance, this short volume may be read with 
a certain amount of pleasure on account of the subject treated. The gallant author 
wields his sword better than his pen ; though there are some spirited passages in 
the book, it is altogether lacking in proportion and consecutive narration. The 
most valuable portions are those containing the published despatches, which afford 
some interesting reading. An appendix gives the list of casualties during the 

Nine Tears in Nipon. Sketches of Japanese Life and Manners. By Henry 
Faulds, L.F.P.S., Surgeon of Tsukiji Hospital, Tokio ; Member of the Royal 
Asiatic Society. Alexander Gardner, London and Paisley. 1885. Pp. xii. 
304 I'rir, 7s. 6d. 

Mr. Faulds' book is a welcome addition to the growing mass of literature that 
is making Japan and Japanese manners, art, and character familiarly known to our 
countrymen. The direct geographical interest of the volume is of a secondary 
nature. There is still an immense and most interesting field of work for the 
explorer in Japan, especially in those northern and western districts which as yet 
have been barely visited by, or are quite unknown to, Europeans. Mr. Faulds, 
during his nine years' residence in Japan, made excursions to Fujiyama, to the 
sacred shrines at Xikko, and other places within comparatively easy access of Tokio ; 
visited Nagasaki, Osaka, and Kioto, and made a journey along the Tokaido, the 
"east-sea-way," or great highway between the old and new capital. All these are 
localities or experiences which have been repeatedly described by previous travellers 
in Japan. But previous travellers have not always such opportunities of becoming 
acquainted with the inner life of the people which were afforded to Mr. Faulds in 
the course of his professional practice in Tokio and his semi-medical, semi-evange- 
lical missions into the interior. Of these opportunities he takes full advantage. 
There are capital chapters on such subjects as the language, the educational system, 
the amusements, and the homelife of the land of the Mikado ; on the " Japanese 
Philosophy of Flowers," and " Japanese Art in relation to Nature," and there are 
exceedingly interesting, if somewhat amateurish, notes on the botanical and zoolo- 
gical spoils that may be gathered in the forests, in the gardens, and by the sea- 
side in Japan. Mr. Faulds, who, it seems, may be claimed as a Scot, does not 
pretend to high training either as an artist or as a scientist. But he has the artistic 
instinct and the scientific taste ; he observes closely, and he has a happy turn for 
description which finds full play in the beautiful land where he has been so long a 
resident, and of whose future he entertains the most hopeful expectations. 


Fronds Gamier: Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chine effectue" par une Commis- 
sion francaise presidee par le Capitaine de frigate Doudart de Lagree. Rela- 
tion empruntee au Journal Le Tour du Monde, revue et annotee par Leon 
Gamier. Contenant 211 gravures sur bois d'apres les croquis de M. Delaporte, 
et accompagnee de 2 cartes. Paris : Hachette et Cie, 1885. 

We have transcribed the above title at full length, because we thus sufficiently 
indicate the character and scope of the work. The narrative of this very remark- 
able series of explorations is now put before the public in a more convenient form 
than that afforded by its place in the Tour du Monde, or in the Publication 
Ojficielh of two volumes quarto. M. Jules Gamier has supplemented the narrative 
with some explanatory notes and references to the Publication Officielle, and pre- 
faced it with a natural and well-deserved eulogium on the author. Two maps from 
the atlas accompanying the large work are also given. 

De Paris au Tonkin, par Paul Bourde, Correspondant du Temps, Paris : C. Levy. 
Describes a visit to Hanoi, Son-tay, and Each-ninh, with a graphic account of 
the difficulties of campaigning in a country which is either submerged or almost 
impassable from the treacherous mud. The author has also some interesting notes 
on the people, and on the condition and prospects of their art industries. 

Reiseder russischen Gesandtschaft in Afghanistan und Buchara, 1878-79. Von 
Dr. J. L. Jaworskij. Autorisirte Ausgaube, etc., von Dr. Petri. 1 Band. 
Jena : Hermann Costenoble. 8 Marks. 
In view of the political aspect of affairs on the Afghan boundary, this volume 
may claim an attention which it would not otherwise receive. The author, a 
physician who in 1878 accompanied the Russian Embassy to Kabul, gives a descrip- 
tion of the journey. He speaks with such freedom of language, especially in regard 
to affairs in 1876, that it was at one time a debatable question (so we learn from 
Dr. Petri"s preface) whether the book would be allowed to appear at all. Some 
very interesting passages are to be found, and some of the geographical descriptions 
are valuable. 

Hand-books for Bibh Classes. Palestine. By Rev. A. Henderson, M.A. 
Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark. Maps. 1885. Price 2s. 6d. 

The author has contrived to compress into a very small space much valuable in- 
formation on the geography of Palestine, as well as on the subjects with which the 
book principally deals. There is a very complete topographical index at the end of 
the book, which will be welcome to students. 

West African Islands. By A. B. Ellis, Major 1st "West India Regiment. 

London : Chapman & Hall, 1885. Price 12s. 
Between the years 1871 and 1882, Major Ellis made fifteen voyages to the prin- 
cipal islands lying off the West Coast of Africa, and his book embodies the note> 
collected by him in the course of these visits. Major Ellis seems to be at least as 
keen in his search for fun as in his quest for information. Like Miss Mowcher, he 
is so volatile, that one does not always know whether he is to be taken as in jest or 
in earnest. Several of his geographical and ethnographical notes have a good deal the 
air of jokes — such, for example, as his description of a tribe with bony or horny 
excrescences growing out of their cheeks ; his account, on the authority of a Jesuit 
priest, of a race on the Gaboon with tails ; and his statement, on the authority of 
another priest, of peoples whose language is helped out so copiously by gestures, that 
" thev cannot understand each other in the dark.'' One of the races of which this 

NEW BOOKS. 1 4."'. 

Latter assertion is made is the Aduyah- — the so-called u Boobies " — of Fernando 
Po, of whom Major Ellis gives a great deal of curious and interesting information. 
As much can be said of his chapters on the Isles de Los, of the habits and manners 
of the Canarese, and of French progress on the Upper Gambia, and in the i 
behind Sierra Leone. 

From Horn to Home. By At.kxaxder Stavblby Hill, D.C.L., Q.C., M.P. 
London: Sampson Low & Co. Maps. 1885. Prict 21s. 

This handsome volume describes the author's journey from his old home in 
England to a new one founded in the Rocky Mountains, and contains matter both 
grave and gay. Opening with an historical sketch on Canada, the physical _■ 
graphy of the Dominion is given, and then the various event.- of the writer's journey, 
with his remarks on the place- visited. It is a pity he gives so little attention to 
the Kootenai Lakes, of which so little is really known, and devotes so much valu- 
able space to places already " done." The book is profusely illustrated, the 
heliogravures being quite works of art. 

Oraisi of the "Alert": Four Years in Patagonian, Polynesian, and Maa 

Waters 1878-82). By R. W. CoPPIHGBR, M.D. With Illustrations. Swan 
Sonnenschein, l xi -">. Pria 6*. 

The author was appointed Burgeon to the Alert on the understanding thai 

he should devote his spare time to collecting information on the natural history of 
the regions visited. His observations of the marine zoology are especially copious, 
and both these and the scattered notices of the habits of birds and other animal- 
are of much value and interest. The same may be said of his remarks on the 
geological and other agencies which have produced the present features of the 
country about Magellan Straits. The object of the Alerfs work in these parts was 
a detailed survey of the sheltered channels extending southward from the Gulf of 
Peiias to Port Tamar, with a view of enabling vessels to avoid a certain part <>t' the 
outer and island-fringed western eoa.-t of South America. A small map of thi- 
district would have much aided the w liter- description of it. The Amirante group 
of islands (west of the Seychelles] is one of the lesser-known localities visited and 



BALKAN HALBINSEL. — Stunime phy.-ikali-clie Wandkarte. by R. EjBPBRT. 
6 sheets. Scale 1 : 1,000, Berlin : D. Revmer. Pria M.7.5 >. 

BELGIQUE, Atlas de, — a I'usage des ecoles. 18 maps. Bruxelles: Lehhgue et 
(He, Pria F7.2.50. 

ENGLAND.— Physical School Wall Map. Scale, 8| miles to an inch. Edinburgh 
anil London : W. & A. K.Johnston. Price 12*. 

NORWAY. — Postkart over de fern sydlige Stiften af Norge. 2 bl. Nbrdlige 
Norge. 1 bl. Christiania; Cammermeyer. Price JCr.2.60. 

RUSSLAND, — Ubersichtskarte vom westlichen. By G. O'Gbadt. 4 sheet-. 
Scale, 1 : 1,750,000. Kassel: Th.Fischer. Price M.12. 

SWEDEN. — Reskarta ofver Sodra och Mellersta Sverige, By C. F« Sodbberg. 
Scale, 1 : 125,000. Stockholm: Carlson. 

144 NEW MAI'S. 


AFGHANISTAN. — Map to elucidate the Boundary Question. Edinburgh and 
London : W. & A. K. Johnston. Price Is. 

ASIEN, — Politische Schulwandkarte von. By H. Kiepert, 9 sheets. Scale, 
1 : 8,000,000. Berlin: D Reimer. Price 3/. 12. 

ASD2,— Carte morale de P. By E. Levasseur. Scale, 1:10,000,000. Paris: 
Datagram. Price Fr.lo. 

CHINA. — Atlas von. By F. vox Rtchtiiofex. (Orographical and Geological 
Maps illustrating the author's work China.) Scale, 1 : 750,000. 1 Abt. Das 
Nordliche China. 1 Halfte : Tafel 1 und 2, West-Shantung ; 3 und 4, Ost-Shan- 
tung ; 5 und 6, Lian-tung ; 7 und 8. Mukden ; 9 und 10, Tung-ping-fu ; 11 und 12, 
Peking. Berlin : D. Reimer. Price M.24. 

TONKIN. — Carte physique, politique, et militaire. Paris: Jouvet. Price, Fr. 1 . 

A l'TJCA. 

AFRICA. — By the late Keith Johnston, F.R.G.S. (new edition, 1885). Scale, 
133 miles to an inch. Size, 52 x 43 inches. Edinburgh and London : IV. £ A. K . 
Johnston. Price in ens,. £1, Is. 

L'AFRIQUE CENTRALE. — Carte politique, l« r Mars 1885. Echelle de. 
1 : 10,000,000. Bruxelles : Tnstitut National de Geographic. 

This map appears as a supplement to Mouvement Geographique, and shows the 
result of the Berlin Conference on the political delimitation of Central Africa. 

CONGO, Carte du Bassin du. — Dressee parle Dr. Richard KiErERT. Echelle de 
1:4,000,000. Berlin: I). Beinier. Price Fr.2.50. 

This is one of the best maps of West Central Africa at present published, and 
illustrates very fully the political division of the Congo basin. 

EGYPT and the Nile basin. — Large School Wall Map. Scale, 52 miles to an 
inch. Edinburgh and London : W. £ A. K. Johnston. Price 12*. 

MOUNT KILIMA-NJARO.— Sketch Map by Mr. H. H. Johnston. Scale, 84 miles 
to an inch. Illustrating Mr. Johnston's account of his expedition in Proceedings 
of the Royal Geographical Society, March 1885. 

SUDAN, Bird's eye View of the. London: Letts, Son, & Co., Lim. Price 6<L 

ZULULAND. — Kartenskizze von Zulu Land und den Goldfeldern der Sudafri- 
kanischen Republik. Von H. Haeverxik. 1 : 1,850,000. Peter mum's Mittei- 
lungen, Jahrgang 1885, tafel 6. Goth a : Justus Perthes. 


BRITISH COLUMBIA. Map of the Province of. — Compiled and drawn by Edward 
Moiicx, C.E., by direction of the Hon. W. Sinithe, Chief Commissioner of Lands 
and Works. Victoria (Brit. Col.), 1884. 

NORD AMERIKA. — L T bersichtskarte iiber die Endmoriine der zweiten Glacial- 
epoche Nord Auierikas. Nach T. C. Chamberlix. 1:15,000,000. Petermann's 
Mitteilungen, Jahrgang 1885, tafel 5. 

UNITED STATES. — New Library and travelling map by Johx Bartholomew, 
F.R.G.S. Scale, 57 miles to an inch. Size, 35 x 37 inches. London and Liver- 
pool : George PhUip &' Son. 






j £ _ffl 






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More especially in the Kilima-njabo District and on 
the Victoria Xyanza. 

By H. H. Johnston, F.E.G.S. 

The impressions made on me by my recent sojourn on Mount Kilima- 
njaro and in its vicinity are so vivid in their character that I fear, 
to many whom I am addressing to-night, my descriptions of the country 
may seem somewhat exuberant; but I speak to you confidently, for I 
know that, sooner or later, others who follow in my footsteps will sub- 
stantiate my reports. 

Let me first briefly summarise the object of the present paper. It is 
to bring to your notice a vast and richly-endowed district of Eastern 
Equatorial Africa, where at present no white man resides ; to show you 
how well worthy it is of opening up to commerce and civilisation ; and 
further, to give you some notion of how this might most profitably be 
done. I shall also briefly touch on three important ends to be attained 
by British enterprise in this part of Africa, viz., the discovery of a new 
and unoccupied field for our commerce, the suppression of the slave-trade, 
and the bringing civilisation to many tribes who are willing and worthy 
to receive it. 

Firstly, as to the physical geography of this country, which I have 
broadly described as Eastern Equatorial Africa. For present purposes 
it may be delimited as follows : — By the river Ruvu or Pangani on the 
south; thence westwards following the 4th degree of south latitude 
to the 32nd degree of east longitude, including the basin of the Victoria 
Nyanza Lake, and round again to the east from the northern border 
of the lake by Baringo to Kenia, the Pokomo river, and the coast. 
VOL. 1. k 


The most marked characters of this region are its immense isolated 
mountain-masses, in most cases volcanic, such as Kenia and Kilima-njaro — 
the latter the highest known peak in Africa ; its spacious level plains, or — 
more strictly — plateaux ; and its freedom from marshy or swampy ground 
as contrasted Avith other parts of Africa. The water supply is fairly 
abundant and equally distributed, though there is but one river, the Dana 
or Pokomo, which is at all navigable. Besides the huge Victoria Nyanza 
there are a few very much smaller lakes, one or two of which are salt and 
the majority fresh. The highlands, up to 10,000 feet, and also the banks 
of the rivers and streams, are generally clothed with forests of splendid 
timber; the plateaux are often covered with scattered bush and short 
grass — not the terrible giant grass of 6 to 8 feet high which obstructs 
so much of African country ; while many districts I can only compare to 
beautiful natural lawns, whereon you meet with springy turf closely 
cropped by the browsing antelopes, and here and there a group of hand- 
some shady trees, disposed with so much regularity that it would seem as 
if man and not Nature had planted them. Such is the country that lies 
between Pare and Usambara, or in the vicinity of Lake Jipe, or again, to 
the south of Kilima-njaro, and also in many districts to the north, as Ave 
hear from Thomson. 

These vast regions are very unequally populated. On the coast there 
is a fringe of slightly civilised races, nominally under the dominion of the 
Saiyid (or ' Sultan,' as Ave incorrectly call him — he is only knoA\*n by his 
subjects as ; Saiyid ' or ' Lord ') of Zanzibar. These people belong 
principally to the Bantu family of Negroes, Avhich includes all the 
inhabitants of Africa from the Victoria Nyanza to the Cape and Fernando 
Po to Mombasa, with very feAv exceptions. There are also Gallas on the 
north, betAveen the Sabaki and the Dana rivers ; a feAv invading Somalis in 
the same district ; Arabs of pure blood and Arab hybrids of every degree 
throughout the length of the littoral ; and about four thousand Banias 
and other natives of British India, who come there to trade and sometimes 
to settle. To add to this medley of races, there are remains here and there 
of ancient " Persian " and Portuguese colonisation ; but, as I have before 
said, the bulk of the coast population is Bantu-Negro — a stock which seems 
to absorb or assimilate easily most foreign strains. The lingua franca 
spoken is the celebrated SAvahili language, one of the Bantu tongues, 
which promises to be the French of Eastern Africa. 

On penetrating inland from the coast the country is, for the first 
hundred miles, as a rule, very thinly inhabited, except on certain 
mountainous districts or along the course of the Ruvu, the Sabaki, or the 
Dana rivers, and what people there are belong to the Bantu stock, and 
speak languages related to Swahili. Whenever you meet AAdth people 
speaking Bantu languages in this part of Africa, you find they are 
invariably settled agriculturists, and neA r er nomads. As a contrast to 
them may noAv be mentioned the celebrated Masai, a negroid race of 
splendid physical development, speaking a most interesting language, 


which is distantly related, I fancy, to the Galla tongues. The Masai are 
semi-nomads — that is to say, each tribe has its home country wherein the 
married men and women settle and move about within a circumscribed 
radius, while the warriors, who are forced to remain unmarried, range over 
immense areas for the sake of plunder. These people were once, and are 
still in a lesser way, the scourge of Eastern Equatorial Africa. They have 
made previously well-populated prosperous districts, abandoned wilder- 
nesses, driving away all the cattle, killing such of the inhabitants as 
resisted, and leaving the remainder to die of starvation. But of late 
years they no longer play the same havoc. Between the coast and 
Kilima-njaro they are rarely to be met with, and in such cases — as when 
they are encountered away from their homes — the white traveller will 
not find them very hard to deal with. Commerce is slowly but surely 
humanising the Masai. Most of them pi*efer trading to fighting now. 
Yearly they are visited by many native caravans from the coast, who 
go to buy ivory with iron wire, cloth, and beads. Certain tribes of 
the Masai, generally known as Wa-Kwavi by the coast people, have 
abandoned entirely this roving robber life, and now occupy large districts 
as quiet thrifty agriculturists. The Masai are all of them great cattle- 
keepers, and possess not only innumerable herds of splendid kine, but 
also keep numbers of donkeys as beasts of burden. These asses are very 
fine animals, resembling exactly the Ethiopian wild ass, from which stock 
they are certainly derived. The Masai are a people who, in time, will, 
1 am sure, become amenable to civilisation, and commerce will temper 
their wild ways. They are very different from the mad fanatics we are 
slaughtering in the Sudan; and if all Europeans will behave as well to 
them as your distinguished countryman, Mr Thomson, has done, we shall 
soon be welcomed as traders or settlers in their midst. 

It may be roughly said, then, that between the coast of the Victoria 
Xyanza the plains or plateaux are inhabited by the Masai and their 
helot races, and the mountains and mountain-ranges by Bantu people. 
These latter evidently occupied the land prior to the incursion of the 
Masai from the north, and existed in former times in greater numbers 
than at the present day. Of late, however, their fortunes have begun to 
revive. Forced, during their struggle for existence, to take to the high- 
lands that were difficult of access to an invader, they have become a more 
hardy, independent race than their relations on the coast, and have also, 
in their wish to turn their mountain soil to the best advantage, become 
skilful and laborious agriculturists. Now their relations with the Masai 
are becoming sensibly improved. The Masai raids have ceased before the 
rude fortifications of the hill tribes, and both parties are able to trade on 
equal terms. The inhabitants of the mountains bring their honey and 
vegetables, their smith's work and dressed skins, and exchange them 
against the ivory, rhinoceros horns, and native salt, that are collected by 
the rovers of the plains. These two distinct races, whose contact was 
formerly so provocative of bloodshed and rapine, are now not only 


exchanging peaceably their products, but also their ideas, manners, and 
customs. The Bantu of Kilima-njaro and Taveita loves to copy the Masai 
costume and mode of fighting ; he incorporates many Masai words and 
salutations into his own tongue ; wbile the once nomadic and restless 
Masai are increasingly taking to agriculture in the vicinity of Bantu 
settlements, and are changing from lawless robbers into quiet and honest 
tillers of the soil. 

Around the Victoria Nyanza Lake the population becomes very dense, 
and probably the littoral people alone may be estimated at from ten to 
twelve millions. With one small exception they are Bantu, and speak 
languages of an archaic form, and more resembling the typical Bantu 
mother-speech than any other we have yet met with. The exception is a 
small enclave of Nilotic negroes settled in the country of Kavirondo, on 
the eastern shore of the lake, who have never yet come into contact with 
Europeans. We know something of their language from the Swahili 
traders, and we find it to belong to the same group as the Shilluk of the 
White Nile. 

Besides the races above enumerated, dwarf tribes are reported in the 
unknown country lying between the Victoria Nyanza and Kilima-njaro, 
and there are also curious helot tribes dwelling among the Masai as 
hunters, or smiths, or slaves, who speak languages of their own, and 
remain at present unclassified in their affinities. 

Of all the people I have mentioned in this hasty description, the 
Bantu offers the greatest hope for civilisation. He is so industrious, so 
imitative, so inquiring, that he is instinctively attracted toward the white 
man. He is a born trader, and will travel miles to sell a fowl, while his 
appreciation of Manchester stuffs and Birmingham beads should insure 
him the favour of British merchants. 

The animal and vegetable products of this vast region are typically 
African. I might mention, to begin with, that it is a sjjortsman's Paradise. 
!Sueh quantities of big game were surely never met with elsewhere. If 
you want confirmation of my statements on this point, read Mr Thomson's 
book, Masai Land. In some districts you may stand on a hillock, and see 
the plains at your feet covered with compact herds of antelopes, moving 
in squadrons, with straggling companies of giraffes, and scattered flocks of 
ostriches. Buffaloes abound so as to be dangerous. Rhinoceroses are so 
numerous that their horns are an important item in the trade, for they 
may be bought in the interior for a few pennies'-worth of cloth, and sold 
on the coast for three and four rupees each. Hippopotami are abundant 
in the rivers and lakes. The Vice-Consul at Lamu on the coast, near the 
Pokomo river, informs me that when properly prepared (which is done 
by cutting the skin into long thin strips and drying it in the sun) 
hippopotamus hides will fetch £5 a piece in Natal. But the great wealth 
of this country lies in its ivory, which is preferred to any other in the 
Zanzibar mai-ket. The elephant abounds in the neighbourhood of 
Kilima-njaro to the extent of many thousands. He here becomes quite a 


mountaineer, and ranges through the magnificent forests that clothe the 
upper slopes of this giant among African peaks. The natives waylay his 
forest tracks with artfully-devised pitfalls and traps ; preferring this more 
cowardly way of procuring their ivory to facing the elephant in the chase. 
Other tribes to the north and west of Kilima-njaro kill the elephant with 
poisoned arrows or javelins, or sharp swords. But in one way or another 
they procure ivory to supply the many native caravans, led by Muslim 
natives from the coast, which annually traverse this country between the 
Indian Ocean and the Victoria Nyanza Lake. Another item of trade 
should not be forgotten — namely, the valuable and handsome wild-beast 
skins, which may either be procured in the chase or very cheaply 
purchased from the natives. A leopard skin may be bought for about 
two or three shillings'-worth of goods, and will sell on the coast for eight 
or nine. Lions' skins are less easy to obtain from the natives, as that 
animal is rarely killed by them ; but European sportsmen might shoot 
him to any extent, as he is both common and bold. Monkey skins of the 
handsome variety of white-tailed Colobus, which is alone found in this 
region, are valuable, and fetch a good price on the coast. 

Ostriches are exceedingly numerous in the vicinity of Kilima-njaro. 
"When living at Taveita in the month of August last, I and my men used 
to largely subsist on their eggs, which were brought us in numbers by the 
natives, and sold for about a pennyworth of cloth each. Sometimes by 
searching we would ourselves discover nests. In the month of October, I 
bought twelve young ostriches from the natives at the rate of an ell of 
cloth apiece. I could have purchased many more, and started an ostrich 
farm had I wished ; but as I was returning shortly to the coast, I did not 
feel disposed to commence the undertaking. I tried to bring these young 
ostriches away with me, but they all died before reaching Zanzibar, as they 
suffered a great deal from the effects of the land transit, being very young. 
Of course, to any ornithologist this country is exceedingly interesting, but 
to those whom I am more immediately addressing to-night, rare or beauti- 
ful birds Avill not serve as a sufficient inducement for opening up a new 
country ; still, I might remark, for economic reasons, that there are abund- 
ance of guinea-fowl, francolin, pigeons, and bustards, and all these serve 
materially to supply the traveller with palatable food. 

I cannot say much for the reptiles of this country, as there are few 
species which would attract the traveller's attention, and none which, as 
far as I know, would be useful commercially, unless the crocodiles of Lake 
Jipe might furnish some of the leather which is now so fashionable for 
dressing-bags ; but the very scarcity and unobtrusiveness of the reptiles 
is a negative advantage. Like most parts of Africa I have ever visited, 
the snakes here are very few, and infrequent in their appearance. Most 
species, too, are non-venomous. 

In many of the streams, rivers, and lakes, there are fish in great 
quantities, representing most of the African fresh-water genera. There 
are few that are not edible, and some species are remarkably good to eat, 


;ind of considerable size and weight. "While at Taveita I was often able 
to feed the entire caravan during a week or more on the fish caught 
iu the small river Lumi ; and at Jipe they are so plentiful that a fish- 
smoking establishment, similar to those on the Upper Congo, might be set 
agoing to provide food for long journeys. There are few things that 
Swahili porters like better than a fish diet. 

The insects are not likely to offer anything commercially interesting, 
nor indeed any of the lower invertebrate forms. I might, however, in 
their case, lay stress on the same favourable fact as with regard to the 
snakes, viz., the scarcity or absence of noxious forms. Thus there is no 
tsetse fly, such as but a short distance southward interferes with the intro- 
duction of horses and cattle. Mosquitoes only exist in certain districts 
near rivers or lakes, and are entirely absent from most parts of the country. 
Fleas and bed-bugs are unknown ; nor has the American jigger, which is 
such a pest on the Congo, been introduced. White ants are not very 
numerous, and do not exist at all above a moderate elevation. The taenia 
intestinal worm, so often heard of in other parts of Africa, is never, to my 
knowledge, met with here. I might mention that a small edible fresh- 
water crab is found in the rivers. 

As to the vegetable productions, they are, apart from those cultivated 
and introduced by man, certainly valuable. There is particularly fine 
timber growing in many parts, especially on Kilima-njaro and in the 
mountainous districts to the northward, and again on the west of the 
Victoria Nyanza. The forests in Usambara and in Pare, both districts 
near the coast, are full of magnificent lofty trees, which are much prized 
at Zanzibar for shipbuilding. On the coast of Zanzibar timber sells for 
25 to 50 dollars per 50 cubic feet, according to quality. 

Gums are produced in the interior — both copal and a kind called false 
copal. India-rubber can be produced from at least one creeper, the Lan- 
dolphia Florida, and I think also another, a species of fig. Coffee grows 
wild, especially in the northern parts of the district, where it is the same 
species as the Abyssinian plant, which, it is supposed, being first intro- 
duced from the kingdom of Kaffa, to the south of Abyssinia, thence derives 
its name. Coffee-planting woidd succeed admirably in districts like Usam- 
bara, which may be regarded as the natural home of this shrub, which is 
indeed indigenous to the African continent. 

On the trees occurring in the Kilima-njaro and Usambara forests 
orchilla-weed is found growing in incredible quantities. When delivered 
half clean — that is to say, mixed with sticks and rubbish — on the coast, 
it fetches from 3 to 3| dollars per frasilah of 35 lbs. 

As regards minerals, iron ore is found in some abundance, and copper 
apparently also, since the natives possess rude rings and ornaments of this 
metal, which have not come from the coast. Nitrate of soda covers vast 
plains to the south, west, and north of Kilima-njaro. There is good 
building-stone in many parts of the country. Limestone often appears. 

And now, having briefly noted some of the productions with which 


this part of Africa is naturally endowed, I may mention others which owe 
their introduction or development to the agency of man. 

Vast herds of cattle are kept, not only by the Masai, whose very raison 
(Fibre, as it were, consists in cattle-breeding, but also by the agricultural 
races on the borders of Lake Victoria Nyanza, and in the mountain 
districts everywhere. When I was residing on Kilima-njaro, I not only 
purchased excellent beef at about 10s. a bullock, but also procured daily 
so much milk that I was able to make cream, butter, and cheese in plenty. 
The oxen are not, as a rule, so large as the Cape breeds, and, indeed, come 
from quite another stock, being descendants of an Asiatic humped variety — 
the zebu — introduced into Africa by the ancient Egyptians. The hides 
are held in such little account by the natives that they may be purchased 
for the merest trifle. As I have already mentioned, the Masai keep large 
herds of fine strong asses, which they are always ready to sell cheaply. 

Goats and sheep are most abundant. The goats are small, plump, and 
great mdk-givers. The sheep belong to the fat-tailed variety, and offer 
really excellent, juicy, tender mutton. Those who have visited Usambara 
will agree with me that the mountain mutton of East Africa rivals in ten- 
derness and shortness that furnished by the Welsh or Highland sheep. 
Like all African sheep, they are hairy and without wool. 

Fowls are not kept by the Masai, but are met with in great quantities 
on the Victoria Nyanza, and among all of the agricultural Bantu race.-. 
On Kilima-njaro they might be purchased at the rate of one ell of cloth 
each, averaging a cost, when the local value of cloth is estimated, of 2|d. 
each. In two days, at Mandara's capital, I purchased eighty fowls. Some 
of them are a very handsome breed — pure white, with very long tail 
feathers in the male. Another variety is plump and dumpy, with exceed- 
ingly short legs. The hens are very good layers. 

The vegetable productions of native cultivation are the banana, the 
sweet potato, the edible arrow-root, the sugar-cane, Indian corn, intama, or 
red millet, and many unnamed varieties of peas and beans. A little rice is 
grown in some districts, namely, at Taveita and on the river Dana. To- 
bacco is everywhere abundant and exceedingly cheap. I might mention my 
own almost incredible experience with the cultivation of European vege- 
tables on Kilima-njaro. Immediately after my arrival I planted the eyes 
of a few potatoes, onion bulbs, and the seeds of mustard, cress, radishes, 
turnips, carrots, peas, beans, spinach, borage, sage, tomatoes, cucumbers 
and melons. Everything came up, and flourished amazingly. In three 
months' time I had a dozen fine cucumbers from one plant, and so many 
potatoes that I was able to give them away to my men, as well as supply 
my own table. I had everything else in abundance in a short space of 
time. Before leaving, I had planted my land at Taveita with wheat and 
coffee, limes, oranges, mangoes, and cocoa-nuts. I also distributed numbers 
of useful seeds among the natives. 

I should have mentioned in its proper place, before the vegetables, that 
there is a great quantity of delicious honey produced throughout this 


district. The wax is of very good quality, but the natives have no use for 
it, and merely throw it away. 

I might now, perhaps, briefly summarise the principal trade products, 
and in some cases give their cost in the interior and on the coast. 

At present, no doubt, the most paying thing is ivory. This may be 
bought in the Masai countries between the Victoria Nyanza and the coast, 
at the rate of from Is. to 2s. a pound, according to quality. When I 
refer to money in the interior, I mean money's worth in cloth, or other 
trade goods. On the coast, ivory sells at from 6s. to 10s. a pound, some- 
times reaching a higher price. 

Hides may be almost got for nothing in the interior, and merely cost 
the expense of transit. On the coast they are sold, when dry, at about 
1 dollar for 7 lbs. Rhinoceros horns I have already alluded to. They 
find a ready sale on the coast, fetching on an average 5s. apiece. 

Live stock of all kinds may be purchased cheaply in the interior, and 
find a ready market on the coast. 

There is even another source of profit, in which, although many people 
laugh when I suggest it, / see nothing ridiculous, viz., the capture and sale 
of wild animals. If it can pay Hamburg and Austrian firms to hunt and 
employ hunters on the confines of Abyssinia, for the purpose of supplying 
the zoological gardens of the world with wild animals, why should not the 
same thing be done here, where animal life is present to a degree which 
puts Abyssinia and the Eastern Sudan to shame 1 If you can get from 
£100 to £200 for a young rhinoceros, elephant, hippopotamus, or giraffe, 
with lesser sums in proportion for large antelopes, zebras, buffaloes, 
ostriches, lions, leopards, snakes, and crocodiles, surely it is worth while to 
capture them in districts like these, that are actually nearer the sea than 
the hunting-grounds of the German firms, and where the natives are 
already familiar with such a trade, and with the mode of capturing wild 
animals alive. When I was in Kilima-njaro and Taveita, the natives 
were always bringing me live creatures for sale, and I have already men- 
tioned how cheaply I bought young ostriches. 

Another important trade product would be orchilla-weed, which may 
be gathered for nothing from the vast forests of Kilima-njaro. I have 
already mentioned its selling-price on the coast. 

Iron, copper, and nitrate of soda might pay a profit on their transport, 
when communications between the coast and interior are facilitated. 
Nevertheless, it is to be admitted that the special wealth of this country 
lies in its agricultural future. There are districts that might become the 
granaries of the world, possessing over large areas a European climate. 
There are other regions peculiarly adapted by their elevation for the cul- 
ture of quinine. Sugar-cane already grows half- wild, and its cultivation 
might be increased to any extent. Coffee, tea, cocoa, vanilla would 
thrive in countries and districts remarkably suitable for their favourable 
growth. Above all, the question arises, — If it can pay people to open 
up and trade with other parts of Africa, why should these magnificent 


fertile lands remain untouched, when they possess a climate superior in its 
salubrity to any other part of the continent ? In the neighbourhood, and 
near the east of Kilima-njaro, the greatest heat registered was 81° ; in the 
warmest part of the interior, 91°. The average night temperature in hilly 
districts is 60° ; in the plains 68\ Except on the loftiest mountains, and 
on the Victoria Nyanza Lake, where it rains a few days in every month, 
the seasons in eastern Equatorial Africa are regular in their divisions of 
wet and dry. From June to the end of October there is almost no rain, 
and from November to May there is an abundant rainfall during certain 
months. On Kilima-njaro the climate up to 8000 feet is that of a Devon- 
shire summer. Above that elevation you may have it as cold as you like 
the higher you go. 

I hope I have now said sufficient to show you that if Africa is worth 
opening up at all, the region which lies between the coast and the Victoria 
Nyanza is eminently so. There is no doubt that Africa is the New World 
of the nineteenth century. AVhat America was to Europe in the six- 
teenth and seventeenth centuries, that Africa is now. Within the last 
two years England, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, and Italy have 
taken decided steps towards founding African colonies and even empires. 
Consequently, I argue from this that if land in Africa is worth having, 
how much more profitable would it be in a fine country with a healthy 
climate lying between a great lake and the Indian Ocean ! 

Having explained to you that, from my point of view, this region is 
worth possessing, I now wish to indicate to you as brielly as possible the 
best way of opening it up to trade and civilisation. Selecting some good 
port on the coast — and there are three or four to choose from, within a 
limit of a hundred miles of coast-line — the expedition should establish 
themselves firstly in the healthy and beautiful country of Usambara. The 
road to the interior runs either to the north or south of this little Switzer- 
land, and joins to the west of it. In Usambara the first stations should 
be established, as the country is very healthy. Here, too, the land might 
be sown or planted with all kinds of crops, for the proximity to the sea 
would render exportation easy and cheap. From Usambara you should 
cross the rich and fertile valley of the Mkomazi river, and enter the hill 
country of Pare, the trade route continuing along the level plain at the 
foot of the hills. The scenery of Pare I can only call enchanting. There 
are wooded crags, waterfalls, secluded Alpine valleys, and splendid views. 
The people are pleasant to deal with, and food is plentiful. From Pare 
you might proceed to Ugweno, over against Lake Jipe, the road still fol- 
lowing the plains, and the stations being established in the hills. From 
Ugw6no it is a short distance to Kilima-njaro, which offers splendid sites 
for large settlements, and has also no scarcity of food. From Kilimanjaro 
there are two routes to be opened up. One, and the most important, 
leads past Mount Meru, another pleasant site for a trading station, straight 
to Speke Gulf, on the Victoria Nyanza. The other is more or less Thom- 
son's track, leading to Lake Baringo and the north-west. This is the 


richest country for ivory. Hither every year come the Swahili caravans, 
who trade nearly to the borders of Abyssinia and the Nile. In all im- 
portant districts stations might be founded, after Stanley's style along the 
Congo, and these would in time become centres of civilisation, cultivation, 
and trade. Although there is no doubt that a railway, under British 
auspices, made to connect the Victoria Nyanza with the coast, would give 
all the trade of Eastern Central Africa into our hands ; yet it seems to me 
that that is a matter altogether for after consideration. The first thing 
is to develop trade and create agriculture. Along many of the native 
tracks, as they at present exist, there is no obstacle, for stout wagons at 
any rate, so far into the interior as the precincts of Meru and Kilima-njaro, 
that is to say, half-way to the Victoria Nyanza. Mules in plenty may be 
purchased in Zanzibar, and will do well in the country, or asses might be 
bought from the Masai. Oxen, doubtless, might also be trained to draw 
the wagons, as on the coast. As I have before remarked, there is no 
tsetse-fly in the country, so that even horse-breeding might be attempted 
in time. Human labour is plentiful on the coast, and fairly cheap ; you 
may hire good stout carriers at the rate of 5 dollars a month, and the cost 
of their food is about 2d. a day. Many of these men make very decent 
soldiers and guards, as Stanley has found on the Congo. As a rule, the 
Zanzibari porters are faithful, trustworthy men. I have always found 
them so, and have even discovered very fine qualities in their nature too. 
At any rate, if they fall out Avith a white man, it is generally his fault ; 
and a very little discipline, together with a kind and quiet manner, will 
always keep them in order. Many of them can read and write their own 
language in the Arabic character, so that if you wish to communicate with 
them at a distance, you can do so by letter. The cost of keeping these 
men in the country would very much lessen after the first year or two, as 
you might soon grow sufficient food on your plantations to support the 
entire expedition. These Zanzibaris are very easily satisfied. They will 
subsist tranquilly on a few handfuls of maize a day, or a little rice and 
dried fish, or simply bananas ; while if you manage to bring down some 
zebra or antelope with your rifle, they are overjoyed. In two days ten 
men will construct you a spacious dwelling, with a grass-thatched rain- 
tight roof ; and in a much shorter time will build their own simpler 
habitations. They are singularly handy, and can plant gardens, make 
roads, trap animals, cure skins, construct bird-cages, wash clothes, mend 
them, make them, cook a dinner, and arrange a nosegay with equal 
facilitj-. They are much more ingenious than English navvies, much more 
enduring of hardships, and much more courteous in behaviour. Without 
doubt, they are the means, the force by which Eastern Africa will be 
opened up. 

The white men who should form the pioneers of any commercial 
enterprise in Central Africa must be young, vigorous, and active ; not, as 
they are so often, u$J, battered men, who have failed in other careers, and 
try Africa as a last chance. They should possess sufficient education to be 


inspired with an intelligent interest in the wonderful nature that will 
surround them. There is no more miserable person in Africa than your 
utterly uncultured man ; he pines and sickens for want of sympathy 
with his surroundings, while he who is so far alive to natural history as 
to be moved by the interesting fauna and flora of Equatorial Africa will 
never be lonely or have time to be ill. If any of them have a taste for- 
sport, he will be never unhappy, for this country surely offers — without 
exception — the most splendid hunting-ground in the world. Nor, in such 
a case, will his sport be mere useless butcher)' of beautiful animals. He 
will be able to supply his caravan with fresh meat at no expense, and may 
secure many valuable skins or hides. In the case of elephants, a sports- 
man is a positive acquisition to the party, as he can procure ivory for 
nothing. I have personally known men in SouthAVestern Africa who 
have made their fortunes over ivory and ostrich feathers. 

Any enterprise that has the intention of opening up this part of Africa 
should begin modestly, without a large staff of white employes or am- 
bitious plans loudly proclaimed to a carping world. AVith care, most, 
if not all, of the preliminary expenses might be paid with trade profits ; 
and in time, I have no doubt, a handsome surplus might be laid aside. I 
reckon that an expedition of the kind I would suggest might penetrate 
some distance inland, create stations, buy ground from the local chiefs, 
and sink about a thousand pounds in trade goods for about £7500 the 
first year, £5000 the second, and £4000 the third ; while, after that 
time, it should be self-supporting, and be putting aside money to repay 
the original outlay. This would include the employment, and all ex- 
penses connected w r ith the employment of four white men, and about 200 
Swahili porters, labourers, and guards. 

In my prefatory remarks, I spoke of opening a new r field for British 
commerce in this region. This, I am convinced, w r e should do. "Where- 
ever I went in this country, the natives were anxious to trade — more 
anxious to trade than to fight, always. Constantly they have said to me, 
" Why won't you come here and set up a shop " (for " shop " they employ 
the Arab word duk, which the Wa-Swahili have taught them), " and let us 
exchange our goods for yours V At places nearly two hundred miles from 
the coast I have found people, who had never seen a white man before, in 
possession of Maria Theresa dollars and Indian rupees, with which they 
came to buy cloth from me. They had, of course, received this currency 
from the coast traders ; but it only shows they are beginning to understand 
the value of money — nay more, Mandara, an influential chief on Kilima- 
njaro, wanted me to open a banking account for him at Zanzibar, and he 
had a distinct, through crude, idea of drawing cheques. Even the fiercest 
people here have w r ants for extraneous things that must be satisfied. 
Then again, if you introduce commerce and a ready market, you suppress 
the slave-trade. Chiefs now sell their people into slavery because the 
Arabs care to buy nothing else ; but once convince them — and Africans 
are much more practical than you may think — that more money is to be 


gained by employing their serfs to cultivate the soil at home, and produce 
food stuffs, and other products for sale, and I am sure the expatriation of 
these wretched people will cease. Again, at the present moment, one 
chief makes war against another to procure prisoners and sell them as 
slaves ; but the commercial instinct will introduce peace by turning the 
sword into a reaping-hook and covering the devastated fields with fair and 
marketable harvests. These people are well worthy of civilisation. Yes, 
even the fierce and roving Masai, who are already being softened where- 
ever they impinge on the rendezvous of coast trade. 

I would suggest that, in any undertaking to open up Eastern Equatorial 
Africa, Kilima-njaro should be made the centre of operations, both by 
reason of its fine climate and the placability of its inhabitants. I would 
also mention that the intervening country between Kilima-njaro and the 
coast is quite safe for travelling. 

I have no doubt many here present to-night have heard some of my 
statements with amused incredulity, and are prepared to hotly contest 
them. Let me disarm their criticism by assuring them that I have merely 
related what has come under my personal experience, and that, however 
much my information may conflict with previous information, I hope 
they will give me the benefit of the doubt until some traveller following 
in my footsteps (as I followed in Thomson's), is able to dispute what I say. 
I would also like to remark that my interest in this country is purely 
disinterested. I am not an African trader, nor do I intend to be. 
Scientific pursuits have led me to this richly-endowed region, and I have 
thought it well to let my countrymen know what advantages it possesses ; 
so that, Avhen some day it comes into the hands of Germany or some other 
European Power, and British merchants and philanthropists are bewailing 
the loss of the great African sanitarium, they cannot at least plead 
ignorance of its existence or advantages. Having said this much, I leave 
my poor remarks to the kind consideration of all interested in the " Dark 
Continent" whom I have sought to serve. I would only ask for one 
privilege in return for any information I may have been able to impart. 
Should ever some powerful trading or political association be formed to 
develop the resources of Eastern Equatorial Africa with Kilima-njaro as 
their basis, I hope they will accept one fanciful suggestion from me. 
They will want a distinctive flag to fly from their stations, and to precede 
their trading caravans : let its colours be green, white, and blue — white 
for the snow, blue for the heavens, and green for the forests of this 
splendid land. 




Translated from the Russian by H. A. Webster. 2 

This district has no general name, either among the Turkomans who 
occupy its frontiers, or among the neighhouring inhabitants. In recent 
times, some English geographers have begun to call it Badkhyz, as 
a proof of its belonging to Afghanistan ; s but that this is erroneous can 
easily be shown, even from English sources. Badkhyz is the mountain 
district between the rivers Kushk and Kash. 4 The district between the 
Murg-ab and Heri-rud is most correctly designated after its ethnographical 
characteristics — Land of the Saryks and Salors, or, in more general terms, 
South-western Turkomania. As I have previously mentioned, little 
was known about this country up till 1881. The English travellers, 
Shakespeare and Abbot, in 1840 and 1841, advanced by the great 
caravan route from Herat to Merv ; General Grodekoff crossed the 
Paropamisus Mountains to the east of the river Kushk ; N. G. Petruse- 
vich, exploring North-east Khorassan, proceeded along the Heri-rud ; but 
not a single European explorer visited the district between the rivers, 
and among the inhabitants of the surrounding country none knew the 
roads except the sirdars at the head of robber bands. For the exploration 
of South-west Turkomania, I undertook two journeys in 1882, and one in 
the beginning of the next year, immediately after the capture of Merv by 
our forces. Besides, commencing with the autumn of 1882, the following 
persons arrived there. According to the statement of the Persian Khan in 
Serakhs, after my first journey, in April 1882, Colonel Stewart, on the 
conclusion of his labours in Seistan, advanced to Mosyn-abad, and from 
thence went to Pesh-robat, Gurlen, and Islim-chishme (the latter syllable 
is sometimes given as chasma), returning by the same route. An account 
of his journey, however, has not yet been printed. Also, in the autumn 
of 1882, the same road was traversed by two Russian explorers— Captain 
Gladysheff, who determined astronomical positions, and Lieutenant Kha- 
baloff, who carried out a survey of the route. According to information 
communicated by Khabaloff, the explorers advanced from Mosyn-abad to 
Bengi-keriz, and crossed by a difficult route over the Borkhut Mountains, 
near the source of the Yaki-Tut (to the west of the Pass Khombou and 

1 YiKj'i-Zapadnaya Turkmeniya: Zemli Sa/rykqff i Saloroff in Izvyestiya Imp. Ilussk. 
. Obshchestva. Tom. xxi., 1885. Read before the Imperial Geographical Soi ■u-ty 7th 
(19th) December 1884. 

- The best thanks of the Editors are due to M. Lessar, who lias most obligingly corrected 
the proof of the translation. 

: - Vide Sir H. Rawlinson's map, attached to M. Lessar's second journey in the Turkoman 
country, Pruceedingsofthe Royal Geographical Society, January 1883. 

4 Compare the map Turkestan, by Walker, fifth edition. 


karuan-ashan); they next proceeded to Kizil-lmlak (named by their guide, 
Tulan-chishme), and thence towards Ak-robat ; but the guide did not know 
how to find this place, and led them across Adam-elan to Serakhs. in the 
district between Murg-ab and Heri-rud ; one point, Melek-heiran-chishme, 
was determined astronomically. Finally, in April next year, Charykoff", a 
diplomatic agent under the General-Governor of Turkestan, proceeded 
along the Heri-rud. From Serakhs, to a point of 10 versts (6h miles) 
south of Zulfagar-Derbend (Zulfikar), he travelled along the river, and 
then by Keriz-Iliyas and South Pass, he crossed into Khorassan, near the 
junction of the Jam into the Heri-rud. 

BOUNDARIES. — The boundaries of South-west Turkomania are : — (1) on 
the north, the Merv oasis ; (2) on the east, the Murg-ab, the land of the 
Jemshidis, the river Kushk to the south from Chil-dukhter, 1 and the hills 
bordering this river on the east ; (3) on the south, the Borkhut Mountains ; 
and (4) on the west, the river Heri-rud, separating Turkomania from 
Pei'sia. The whole region measures 250 versts (165 miles) from north to 
south, and on an average about 100 versts in the transverse direction. 

Character of the District. — The Borkhut Mountains are a prolonga- 
tion of the Sefid-Kukh (Safid-Kuh), separated from the main chain by a 
considerable depression (between the Ardevan and Karuan-ashan Passes), 
in which there are, properly speaking, no mountains, but only two ranges of 
hills, with soft soil, across which are roads having even at present gradients 
not steeper than - 02 (1 in 50). Such a pass is Karuan-ashan. 

Further west, the ridge increases in height as it approaches the river. 
Its altitude is from 3000 to 4000 feet ; it is composed of hard sandstones ; 
and its slopes are steeper, but still there are, in very many places, passes 
accessible, with few exceptions, for wheeled traffic. In a deep ravine in 
the Borkhut Mcfuntains, which continue into Persia, flows the Heri-rud ; 
the mountains again sink towards Meshed (Mesh-hed) ; and their con- 
tinuation further west forms the Alla-dagh chain. 

The Borkhut Mountains are the principal branch of the Paropamisus, 
going on to unite with Elburs ; the more southern branches, near the 
Heri-rud, marked on some maps as the principal range, in reality are only 
a series of hills of very little importance on the route from Karuan-ashan 
to Shebesh, and on the road to Kusan, a tract of cpiite level ground. 

Near 36° N. lat., the clay hairs (hills) of Elbirin-kyr divide South-west 
Turkomania into two portions, very different in character, vegetation, and 
climate. Those hills, as is indicated by the very name kyr, consist of 
clayey elevations rising 2000 feet above the sea-level. Beginning with 
bluffs on the banks of the Heri-rud, they run almost in a straight line from 
west to east ; curve round Lake Er-oilan ; and, after that, change into 
lines of separate hills (bjrs) scattered in disorder over the rest of the 

1 Other spellings of the first part are Child and Chahil. 


country up to the Kushk. To the east of Er-oilan, these elevations 
are almost parallel, and rise 50 or more sazhen (350 feet) above the 
surrounding country. 

In this portion there is no definite slope observable in any direction ; 
on the other hand, the triangle, having as its base the Borkhut Mountains 
from Khombou to Ardevan, and its apex at Chemen-i-bid, clearly forms part 
of the river Kushk basin. Two affluents of this river, each about 100 
versts in length, previously unknown, were examined by me. One begins 
near Khombou, and the other near Gurlen ; and they unite under the name 
of the Egry-gyok, and fall into the Kushk near Chemen-i-bid. The whole 
triangle consists of valleys beginning in the slope of the Borkhut Moun- 
tains, and drained by those leading streamlets ; the spaces between the 
valleys form a slightly hilly region, gradually descending from the Borkhut 
to the north. The western portion of the southern half has a slope to 
the Heri-rud ; some of the deep ravines stretch for 10 to 15 versts (6 
to 10 miles) from the river inwards. The water-parting of the basins of 
the Heri-rud and the Murg-ab is formed, not by the steep bluffs near 
the banks of the former stream, but by the low hills behind them, which 
extend from the end of the Borkhut Mountains, near Keriz-Iliyas, by 
Kungryu-eli Adam-elan to the ruin of the bridge of Pul-i-Khatun. In 
general, the whole southern half is an undulating district, a series of 
heights and hollows ; the soil is everywhere a sandy clay, overgrown with 
thorns and steppe-grass ; sand occurs only in certain places and in very 
limited quantity, clearly produced by the disintegration of the kyrs. 

The northern slope of the Elbirin-kyr has at first the same appear- 
ance as the southern. Deep ravines run from the summit of the heights, 
in general northwards ; then follow rows of separate heights, which become 
always lower and lower ; towards the well Koyun-Kui, but only at inter- 
vals, are separate hjrs ; the mixture of sand becomes always greater and 
greater, and finally the country passes into a sandy desert like that of 
Kara-Kum (boundaries shown on the accompanying map). On the south 
it is bounded by a line curving from lairs at Doulet-abad to Kalei-Mor 
on the Kushk ; on the west the sands extend to the road from Serakhs 
to Merv, and cut across it in a few places, and, passing to the roads for 
Karry-Bend and Mamur, unite with the Kara-Kum ; on the north their 
convex frontier line advances almost to the Merv oasis ; on the east they 
keep in great part about 400 to 1000 sazhen (2800 to 7000 feet) from the 
banks of the rivers Murg-ab and Kushk ; and in some places they advance 
in the form of separate capes right up to the water. 

Badkhyz has the same character, as also the country between the 
Borkhut Mountains and the Elbirin-kyr. From Pende, the oasis of the 
Saryks, the district gradually and very gently rises to the mountains 
Sefid-Kukh. Its irregularities are unimportant — hills between the Kushk 
and the Kash, 20 to 40 sazhen (140 to 280 feet) in height, in some places 
cut by shallow valleys drained by both affluents of the Murg-ab. The 
mountainous part of the district begins with the range of the Sefid-Kukh ; 


there the ascent is very steep, and, according to Abbot and Grodekoff, the 
passes present considerable obstacles to traffic. 

Rivers. — Two great rivers with their affluents drain the whole country 
of South-west Turkomania. These are the Heri-rud and Murg-ab. 

The Heri-rud takes its rise 350 versts (232 miles) east of Herat, at 
the point where the Sefid-Kukh and the Siya-Kukh unite. Its head 
stream bears the name of Jengel-ab, and only after its junction with the 
Tingal-ab does it begin to be called the Heri-rud, and enters on a broad 
valley everywhere suitable for tillage. 

The great dam, situated a little above Herat, diverts a considerable 
part of the water of the rivers into canals for the irrigation of the Herat 
Valley, without dispute the richest in all Central Asia, to the south of the 
Amu-Darya (the ancient Oxus). At the present time the leading products 
are assafoetida. saffron, pistachio nuts, fruits of all kinds, grapes of various 
sorts, wheat, barley, clover. The silk-worm is reared to a considerable 
extent in the valley. AVood, or even bushes, however, exist only in 
places within the immediate neighbourhood of the Heri-rud ; the slopes 
of the mountains are completely naked. Every settlement has rich 
orchards, but the only fuel is brushwood, brought from very distant 
parts. On the banks are luxuriant meadows, in which horses are pas- 
tured in great numbers — according to the Afghans, upwards of 40,000. 
They form one of the principal exports of the Herat province to Persia : 
they are small, and of ordinary breed, but strong and hardy. There is 
also a considerable quantity of other cattle kept by the natives. 

About 10 versts (6| miles) lower down, before we reach Tir-pul, 
the valley contracts, and the Heri-rud advances very close to the heights 
of the south bank, and the road, both to Kafyr-Kala and to Gurian, con- 
tinues in narrow defiles, sometimes on rather steep declivities. 

At Tir-pul is a bridge built by Yar Mahomet Khan, forty sazhen 
(280 feet) long. The abutments and the arches are of brick ; only the 
starlings are faced with strong stones, as in severe winters the ice is thick 
enough to support a horseman, and the " ice-gang " is generally of great 
force. When the water is high, the road from Herat to Meshed goes 
not via Kusan, but via Tir-pul, and thence along the south bank to 

Xear Kusan — the last Afghan settlement on the Heri-rud — the river 
turns almost directly to the north, and flows between low and cultivable 
banks as far as Pesh-robat. Thence it continues for about 20 versts (13 
miles) through the defile which separates the Borkhut Mountains from 
the Kargala Mountains (the latter are the continuation of the former on 
Persian territory). After this the left bank is in great part only slightly 
hilly as far as Mount Peskemar, which approaches the river between Zur- 
abad and Pul-i-Khatun. The heights of the right bank up to Zulfagar- 
Derbend are in some parts 2 or 3 versts distant from the river, and 
further north, at Gyarm-ab-Derbend, approach close to it with very steep 


bluffs ; there the valleys capable of irrigation are very rare, and are of 
quite limited extent. On the left bank the traces of unimportant sowings 
are visible only near Zur-abad, on the right bank about Zulfagar and 

North from Pul-i-Khatun the left bank is bounded by the low and 
very gentle underfalls of the Khesar-Mesjid, on which are many places 
to which water for irrigation can be brought. The small hills of the right 
bank are a little higher ; only for short distances about Shir-tepe, and 
Nouruz-abad there is a series of fields between the overflow of the river 
and the foot of the hills ; about Kassab-Kale the hills give place to level 
ground suitable for tillage. 

The Heri-rud from Kusan to Pul-i-Khatun flows in great part in one 
channel from 15 to 20 sazhen (105 to 140 feet) broad. The water is 
usually high from the beginning of January to the end of March ; at 
that time the fords are very dangerous owing to the swiftness of the 
current, but as early as April one can cross in many places with a depth of 
not more than 4 feet. In the summer the water in the river rapidly 
diminishes, and in June and July crossing is possible everywhere, except 
Avhere the steepness of the banks prevents it. In September, at the crossing 
from Kusan to Kafyr-Kale, MacGregor observed hardly any current with 
a depth of about 3 feet. 

Further to the north, by August there is no current in the bed of the 
river : only here and there is preserved a reach of water, sometimes almost 
fresh, sometimes so brackish that horses drink it with reluctance. The 
bed everywhere consists of coarse pebbles, and the natives assert that 
Avhen high water arrives the course of the river is continued, but only 
underground, and is then to be seen only in the deep parts of the bed ; in 
any case an underground current exists, otherwise it is not possible to ex- 
plain the short reaches of water which do not dry up all autumn. Water 
of such a depth, even on clayey soil, would dry up in two or three days. 
The current ceases, as already stated, somewhat to the north of Kafyr- 
Kale, and below that it begins again only from Pul-i-Khatun, where the 
Kara-su falls into the Heri-rud, and receives a great increase from two 
abundant springs in the neighbourhood of Nouruz-abad : there there is so 
much water that it is everywhere conveyed by canals to the settlements of 
the Salors at Old Serakhs, and the supply is uninterrupted all the year 
round. "Water appears again through the whole course of the river in 
November or December. 

South of Pul-i-Khatun there are springs everywhere on the banks of 
the channel. The reaches in which the water is preserved in summer are 
so numerous that the traveller by the road along the Heri-rud may count 
on a good supply of water at any time of the year ; but here and there the 
advance along the river is prevented by the mountains, which reach down 
close to the stream. In autumn it is everywhere possible to travel in the 
channel itself ; when the water is high this is not the case. From Serakhs 
to Pul-i-Khatun the road is good on both banks. From this last point 
VOL. i. l 


southward it is necessary to go by the west bank across Mount Peskemar to 
Zur-abad by a very difficult road, but on the Turkoman side travelling- 
is practicable on level ground to the east of Mount Kelet-Koya, which 
extends its bluffs to the very bank of the river from Gyarm-ab-Derbend to 
the Zulfagar ravine. After that both banks again become fit for traffic. 
Where on the second occasion the mountains advance to the river, about 
20 versts (13 miles) northward from the river Jam, a passage along the 
banks is quite impossible. In Serakhs people assert that in former times 
there was more water in the Heri-rud. There is no reason to believe that. 
Burnes, travelling through Serakhs in September 1832, found the bed of 
the stream completely dry, and so unimportant that he took it for the bed 
of a separate streamlet, Tajen, as if it took its rise in the neighbouring 
hills, and denied its connection with the river of Herat. The water of the 
Heri-rud, though turbid, is pleasant and wholesome. 

At Pul-i-Khatun are the ruins of a bridge : about the date of its con- 
struction the Tekkes know nothing ; tradition only asserts that the bridge 
was built by a woman. Four of its arches exist at the present time. The 
fifth, and central, was destroyed by Medemii Khan, at the time of his 
expedition against Merv. The whole distance between the extremities of its 
outer arches is 28^- sazhen (199i feet). Four buttresses of unequal thickness 
take up 9| sazhen (Q6h feet), and for the passage of the Avater there are 
five openings, taking the remaining 19 sazhen (133 feet). The first, from 
the Turkoman bank, measures 4 sazhen (28 feet) ; next are two of five 
sazhen each ; and lastly, on the Persian side, two of 2| sazhen each. The 
breadth of the bridge is a little more than 2 sazhen (14 feet). It is in good 
preservation ; cracks are nowhere visible in the arches ; and the restora- 
tion of the central arch would render it fit for the passage of beasts of 
burden across it. The buttresses are nowhere undermined ; in some 
places their surface has been worn away by the current up to the level of 
high water. Repairs could be generally accomplished without difficulty, 
as from the end of July to December the bridge is almost on dry ground : 
only under one or two arches are there two or three vershoks (each 1 75 
of an inch) of water. 

The continuation of the Heri-rud to the north and north-west from 
Serakhs is known by the name of Tejen. There is a current in this part 
of the river only during full water, when the stream is very deep, and in 
many places crossing is impossible. O'Donovan, in February 1881, crossed 
a little to the north of Kangaly-Guzer by swimming. On a previous occasion, 
in the middle of the same month, the Tejen at the Karry-bend dam had a 
breadth of about 12 sazhen (84 feet), and a depth of 5| feet. Frequently 
the water there was deeper, and then for a month or a month and a half, 
the road passes through Alaman-Junguli, to which place the Tejen does 
not reach, but only the separate canals derived from it. Overflowings of 
the river, and inundations of those districts, take place only when the dam 
at Herat happens to burst. In the beginning of 1884 the dam at Karry- 
bend and canals for irrigation of the surrounding country were restored. 


In summer the current in the Tejen ceases ; in places it dries up com- 
pletely, but in great part it consists of long lakes, fed, according to the 
opinion of the local inhabitants, by wells, but possibly also by underground 
prolongations of the streams Chacha, Meana, and Dushak, which end in 
marshes 15 to 20 versts from the Tejen. This opinion is based on the fact 
that the water in those lakes is cool and does not dry up in the course of the 
hottest summer, which could hardly be the case if they were only accumu- 
lations of the spring-tide water in the deep hollows of the bed of the Tejen. 

The river Murg-ab, rising in the north slope of the Sefid-Kukh, 
traverses a mountain district occupied by Khazare tribes, and about Bala- 
Murg-ab descends into the plains of Southern Turkomania. From this 
bridge the right bank of the river consists of hills running near the water- 
shed. Of ground suitable for tillage there is very little, and on the right 
bank the only fields are in the oasis of Pende. The slopes of the hills are 
for the most part gentle, and the road passing over them along the Murg-ab 
is of great service for traffic ; only opposite Sary-yazi the hills descend 
almost vertically into the river by the bluffs of Kushle-Koya. Here, when 
the water is high, it is impossible to pass, and the road has to make a 
detour by the summit of the hills. 

At Cape Kele-burun the clayey hills come to an end, and give place to 
sandy hills, which continue along the river to Iol-otan at the distance of 
one or two versts (i to 1 \ miles) from the water ; further north the sands 
surround the ruins of ancient towns near Merv, and advance on the road 
from this oasis to Bukhara. 

The left bank from Bala-Murg-ab to Meruchak is bounded b)~ bills in a 
fairly straight line ; then the valley widens, and in front of the junction 
of the Murg-ab and the Kushk lies a remarkably level triangle occupied b} _ 
settlements of Saryks, and known by the name of Pende. 

Northward to Iol-otan the left bank is bounded by sandy hills. Then 
the river flows in one or in several extraordinarily tortuous channels, with 
a total breadth of 10 to 20 sazhen ; the banks are steep, often precipitous, 
with a height of 4 or more sazhen (28 feet). This first valley lies in a second 
of greater breadth only in certain places overflowed at high flood ; it extends 
from 300 sazhen to 5 or more versts (2100 feet to 3 miles). The sands 
which bound this second valley on the west at times advance to the river 
in the form of capes, at times retire from it and form lake-like depressions, 
called by the natives Iceff; these areas are all adapted for tillage, and on 
many of them there are still traces of former irrigation in more peaceful 
times. Exceptionally good crops are furnished by the keffs when over- 
flowed by the spring inundations. 

The sands come nearest to the river between the Yungenly ford 
and Sary-yazi, and there, for a distance of about 10 versts, the road passes 
along the summit of the sand-hills. The Murg-ab flows in great part 
over a very easily disintegrated clayey bed ; in consequence of the con- 
siderable descent of the country, the stream has a remarkably sinuous 
course, and undermines the left or lower bank. In many places the road 


making a great detour round some newly-formed bend, shows on what an 
extensive scale and how rapidly the undermining goes on. Such detours 
are especially frequent from Yungenly to Dash-Kepri, where great fissures 
are in many places visible in the cliffs along the banks ; along the Kushk 
the canals nearest to its bank frequently fall in, and are removed further 
to the west. 

The depth of the river at low water is 3 to 4 feet ; in high water as much 
as 14 feet or more. High water occurs in spring, in the beginning of summer, 
and for brief periods after continued heavy rains in the mountains, during 
which the water rises very rapidly; in the spring of 1884, at the ford near 
Kurjukli after heavy rain, the Avater rose 1^- feet in less than three 
hours. At low water in the whole river there are a great number of fords ; 
on the other hand, as long as high water lasts, there is no crossing by ford, 
and communication between the two banks is maintained almost exclusively 
by kayuks (large boats). 

Except at Merv, where, up to the time of our capture of it, there Avere 
two very wretched bridges, there is only one bridge on the Murg-ab, at 
Iol-otan. It also is a very wretched construction ; its opening is about 
6 sazhen or 42 feet out of the 30 sazhen which at this place constitute 
the breadth of the river, the remaining portion is filled up with dams of 
earth and fascines. The opening is not large enough, and every year the 
high water carries off a part of the dams ; the beams covering the two 
spans, 3 sazhen each, are removed to the bank at the approach of high 
water. In March of the present year I travelled by this bridge ; by May 
it was carried away ; it will be restored only in autumn. The depth of 
the river in the neighbourhood of the bridge is about 2 sazhen. A toll 
(badj) is charged for crossing by the bridge. 

Kayuks (boats) are kept at Iol-otan and at Pende (Panj-deh). At this 
last point (where the breadth is 14 to 15 sazhen) the boats are guided by 
ropes stretched across the stream. The kayuks are made of short pieces 
of torrangi (willow) or pistachio wood fastened with wooden nails, and 
thoroughly caulked with rags of dressing-gowns ; length of the kayuk is 
2 sazhen, width 1 sazhen, depth about 1 arshin ; it can convey at one time 
4 horses or 20 men. 

Both the Murg-ab and the Heri-rud contain great quantities of fish, 
but the Turkomans do not use them for food, owing to the belief that 
they cause fevers. 

The Murg-ab furnishes better opportunities for settlement than the 
Heri-rud, and if at the present time the districts along the river are 
occupied by nomadic Turkomans only at three points, and the rest is 
complete desert, this arises from the disorder reigning in the steppes ; 
along the whole bank, ruins of forts and caravanserais show that at one 
time it was thickly inhabited, and was the scene of busy traffic. 

Of the affluents of the Murg-ab, the Kushk, the Kash, and the Kaisor 
are of importance for the life of the Turkomans. 

The Kushk takes its rise on the northern slopes of the Sefid-Kukh, 


and begins to flow through mountainous regions unsuited for tillage. 
Below Chil-dukhter the valley widens, and throughout almost all its 
course, till it reaches the Murg-ab ; at Dash-kepri the Saryks derive 
canals from the stream, and devote themselves to agriculture ; the width 
of the cultivable belt is rarely more than 300 to 400 sazhen, and only 
reaches 6 versts at Kalei-mor. 

Ihe bottom of the Kushk below Kalei-mor is swampy and slimy, and 
consequently, although the depth of the water is for the most part not 
more than 1 arshin (28 inches), crossing by ford is possible only at a 
few definite points. Above Kalei-mor the bottom is gravell}-, and crossing 
can be accomplished anywhere. 

The water in the Kushk is fresh, but after long-continued droughts 
slightly salt ; and on some occasions it dries up altogether. When this 
happens in early summer, it causes the destruction of the crops sown by 
the Turkomans. On the banks of the Kushk there are fresh springs, so 
that when the river dries up in its bed, there still remain certain reaches 
of slightly brackish water, sufficient for the supply of passing caravans. 

Both tributaries of the Kushk (Gurlen-su and Khombou-su) have 
almost in their whole extent very salt water, unfit for irrigation ; fresh 
springs occurring on the banks afford sufficient water for passing caravans. 
The Gurlen-su besides has, at the first, fresh water, and near the river of 
the same name, there are traces of somewhat extensive tillage. The 
Kash is in the same condition as the Kushk ; when its stream dries up 
in the early part of the year, the same disasters follow. On the river 
Kaisor the ruins of Kalei-vali have quite recently been occupied by the 

Springs and "Wells. — The district to the south of Elbirin-kp- is 
better supplied with water, both in quantity and in quality, than the 
northern parts. The eastern slope, bordering the Heri-rud, is remarkably 
rich in springs ; there springs of sweet water are frequent, though at 
present only sufficient for the supply of caravans ; traces of tillage occur 
in rare instances (Keriz-Iliyas). It is very probable that the quantity of 
water in those localities may be considerably increased by exploration of the 
springs and the construction of keri~.cs (underground aqueducts). Eastward 
stretches a series of Avells, in great part of fresh water, or with a very 
inconsiderable element of salt. The Borkhut Mountains and their slopes 
also abound with springs and wells. The springs are almost all fresh, but 
the soil is visibly impregnated with salt, and the streams issuing from the 
springs in a very short distance become completely salt and unfit for 

As regards the supply of water, the northern part of the district, 
between the rivers, is very similar to the Kara-Kum. It possesses few 
wells, situated sometimes 80 versts (50 miles) apart ; the water in them also 
has a certain quantity of salt, and for the classification of wells into fresh 
and salt the same rule is applied as in the desert, that is — those are called 


fresh from which the Turkomans provide themselves with water while 
travelling or nomadising, and those salt which are of no use to man for 
drinking purposes. Besides, it must be mentioned that there are no wells 
with bitter water, and that all those in the sands are available for cattle : 
sheep, camels, and even horses drink quite willingly of the salt water. 
All the sands of South-west Turkomania lie on a more or less permeable 
bottom ; fakirs proper do not occur at all, and consequently there are no 
leak or rainpools, even after the heaviest rains. 

Climate. — However comparatively unimportant the hairs of Elbirin- 
kyr may be, this line of heights is sufficient to divide South-west Turko- 
mania in its climatic aspect into two very dissimilar portions. The northern 
portion is in climate quite like the Kara-Kum; with the ascent to the 
Borkhut Mountains, immediately after passing the Elbirin-kyr, constant 
and violent southern winds begin. As far as it is possible to judge 
by the periods which I have spent in those districts (one week in April 
and one week in August), the assertion of the Tekkes, that there is no good 
weather there, is quite credible. While on the plain it was perfectly quiet, 
near the Borkhut Mountains a strong gale was blowing. Clouds fre- 
quently came upon us, and on the northern slopes, on both journeys, we 
had rain — very small rain it is true, and scarcely wetting the road. On 
the southern slopes the winds moderated as Ave got away from the moun- 
tains, and half-way to Kusan they died away altogether. In Persia it was 
explained to me that the very name of Badkhyz, the district next to this 
portion of South-west Turkomania, and identical with it in climate, is 
derived from this condition of the atmosphere : bad means wind, and 
khosten (root khyz) } to rise or get up. According to the Turkomans this 
weather lasts there the whole year; and those local winds, though not 
quite so strong, make life in Pende very irksome. 

Vegetation. — Vegetation in the main depends on the quality of the 
soil, and the abundance of water. Along the banks both of the Heri-rud 
and the Murg-ab (at the places overflowed by spring inundations), great 
quantities of poplars, mulberry trees, willows (torrangi), and bushes of 
various kinds occur, so dense that in many places it is not only impossible 
to approach the river on horseback, but even to make one's way on foot. 
Fodder for horses is everywhere in abundance, and of good quality. The 
trees growing there reach no inconsiderable dimensions, and this fact 
will explain the opinion of some travellers that timber existed on the 
banks of those rivers (H. Alikhanoff reported the existence of timber-trees 
even on the road from Merv to Khiva). Though all the kinds that grow 
there are used, it is true, for roofing small places, for making small bridges 
across aryks, etc., they do not at all agree with the notion of timber which 
prevails in Russia. The wood of the willow and poplar are of no use for 
large erections or for furniture ; for important works timber has to be 
brought from the Volga or from the Caspian ; in the Trans-Caspian 
country there is none anywhere. 


In the district between the rivers, on the sandy clayey soil, mulbeny 
trees occur only near the springs, and pistachio trees are scattered on all 
the hill slopes, for the most part singly, with considerable intervals 

Both bushes and herbage grow badly on the hyrs, and thus, in com- 
parison with the northern, the southern portion is very poorly supplied 
with them : only near the rivers can the pasture be considered really good ; 
bushes are in general scarce. The northern part is quite different ; the 
series of hjrs gives place to a soil with a preponderance of sand ; very 
luxuriant herbage, which is known only to the Turkomans, covers the dis- 
trict. This part was the source of the wealth of the Saryks, the cause of 
the excellent quality of their herds. The Turkomans call it Misir : that 
means Egypt, and is employed in the same sense as we use the Land of 
Promise. There is not in this district such a burning up of the vegetation 
as occurs in the Kara-Kum ; even the herbage dried by the summer is all 
excellent fodder for cattle. The Koyun-Kui wells are considered the 
centre of the best pastures. 

Bushes are everywhere in abundance ; growing ever closer and higher 
as we advance from the central steppes to the river Murg-ab, and near 
the river itself almost turning into woods. They are cut down only about 
the wells, and in settled places. Thus, in the whole oasis of Pende, and 
along the entire march to the north and south, there is neither bush nor 
tree. Fuel is conveyed thither out of the sands, and from Chemen-i-bid. 

Mineral "Wealth. — Of the existence of any kind of mineral wealth 
in the Borkhut Mountains the Turkomans know nothing. 

The Salt Lake, called Er-oilan or Duz, enjoys great repute in the sur- 
rounding countries. Duz means simply salt ; but Er-oilan subsidence of 
the ground. There is a tradition that there was at one time a castle there 
which sank and gave place to two salt lakes. The hollow is 130 
sazhen (910 feet) deep ; the shores, consisting of red clay, are partly vertical 
precipices, and partly flat expanses. The two lakes are separated by the 
high ground 70 sazhen (210 feet) above the bottom on which the road runs 
from Koyun-Kui to Ak-robat. On the south side of the lake are some hjrs 
standing apart, and visible from far. In the lakes above the salt, lies 
about h arshin (14 inches) of water ; pieces like millstones are raised from 
the bottom by levers. In the following year the portion grubbed up is 
filled again with salt, which the Turkomans assert is of undiminished 
quantity. The quality of the salt is excellent. 

These lakes are utilised by all the Turkoman tribes inhabiting the 
surrounding districts ; the people of Merv and Iol-otan use the western 
lake, the Saryks from Pende the eastern. The great road by which the 
Mervian salt caravans travel passes through Kele-burun and Koyun-Kui ; 
but it is so dangerous that the caravans must be large, and have strong 
escorts to protect them from the attacks of the Saryks or Persians. Be- 
sides this main route to Duz from Merv the sirdars know many smaller 


tracks by which they conduct small caravans. Last winter, after the 
arrival at Serakhs of the energetic Persian governor, Ali Merdan Khan, 
who took vengeance on the people of Merv for their brigandage by the 
pillage of a Tekke caravan near Koyun-Kui, traffic between Merv and 
Iol-otan and the lake ceased altogether, and the Mervians began to purchase 
salt from Pende by means of the people of Iol-otan. On the capture of 
Merv, and the consequent pacification of the district, the previous traffic 
was resumed. The Saryks of Pende also have paths known to themselves, 
and besides this two great roads ; the first by the Kushk and onwards by 
Ak-robat — the longest, but with plenty of water ; and the other without 
water, but the shortest, direct from Dash-Kepri to Duz. 

Other tribes also supply themselves with salt from Er-oilan, but they 
do not venture thither themselves, and purchase it generally from the 
inhabitants of Pende. The Jemshidis procure it, not only for themselves, 
but also for sale in Herat, where it fetches a high price, as the salt obtained 
near this town in Afghanistan is of inferior quality. The inhabitants of 
Maimene also buy salt at Pende. 

Communication. — Since the Tekkes settled in Merv, and disorder took 
possession of the steppes, traffic in South-west Turkomania has been 
almost given up ; even between Iol-otan and Pende, communication has 
been feebly maintained. The road from Pende to Herat by the Kushk, 
formerly a great caravan route, is now a scarcely visible foot-track. 
Within the district travel only well-armed caravans to the Er-oilan lakes, 
or brigands from Merv and Pende marching to pillage each other, or most 
frequently the Persians and Afghans. Trading caravans there are none. 
But these statements refer only to the most recent times ; and I question 
if Kawlinson is right when he says that there never was a high-road 
there. 1 The ruins of robats in Kungrueli and near the Khombou point to 
one of its directions, another was formed by the road through Ak-robat ; 
in Gurlen, and near the pass of Karuan-ashan, still exist remains of forti- 
fications and traces of cultivation. 

The roads in their present condition are certainly mere sumpter 
tracks, but the general character of the district is in the highest degree 
favourable to the construction of good carriage roads or of a railway. 
{To be completed in our next Number.) 


The following Memorandum, relating to the recent disturbances in the 
Canadian North-west, has been sent to us for publication by Sir Charles 
Tupper, C.B., High Commissioner for Canada : — 

1 Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, January 1883, page 16 : "I have stated 
that there never was a hi<rh-road through Badgheis, along the line of the Heri-rud." 


Wells of the Persian Arnjy 
(1860) filled up 

Shor-kala (ruius and Wei I 


Shegitli Well 




ills of salt w. ar 
i'.khan Kanly 

Kala-"brun (ruins )d 

Konshut-kala (ruins j^- 

JOld I 
Shurjei_ l/d \ 




'{Ku ngrueuV 


nz jlliyas 





iuniat-khflt -kale' 




(According to the Explorations of M. Lesbab). 

Reduced from the original in the Izvyestiya of the Imperial 
Geographical Society of St. Petersburg, January 1886. 

The spelling of the nameB adheres closely to the Russian. 
More familiar forms are sometimes inserted in brackets. 

The scale of the original is 20 versts (13$ miles) to the 
English inch, 

5 10 



" No definite information has yet been received throwing any light upon 
the causes of the disturbances among the Half-breeds in the Canadian 
North-west, which have formed the subject of recent telegrams in the 
newspapers. The statements made in the Canadian House of Commons 
by the Government, summaries only of which have come to hand, seem 
to indicate that the rising has been stirred up by Louis Kiel, who was? at 
the head of the Eed Eiver rebellion in 1870, and who recently returned 
to Canada after the expiry of the period for which he was banished. 
There do not appear to have been any grievances of so serious a nature, 

so far as at present known, as to warrant the course adopted by the 
Half-breeds, and this is confirmed by the fact that the outbreak was un- 
expected, and even doubted when the first reports arrived. Claims have 
been made from time to time in regard to lands, some of Avhich were well 
founded, and some were not. The larger proportion of them have been 
dealt with, and the others are receiving the consideration of the Govern- 
ment, who have always had the reputation of dealing fairly and honour- 
ably with the Half-breeds. At the time of the outbreak a Commission 
was engaged in dealing with the matter. Xo agitation was heard of, and 
perfect tranquillity prevailed until the advent of Eiel. The Government, 
however, have taken very energetic measures, and a large force of men, 
under the command of Major-General Middleton, C.B., is now on the 
way from Qu'Appelle to Fort Carleton. It is expected that the arrival of 
the troops in the disaffected district will cause the collapse of the out- 
break, and that confidence will soon be restored. Eiel's supporters are 
not numerous, but some anxiety has been felt concerning the Indians. 
So far, although a few acts of violence have been reported, no general 
rising has taken place among the Indians, and is not anticipated. Indeed, 
the Government have received special assurances of loyalty from some of 


the principal bands, and the presence of so large a military force must 
exercise a considerable influence among them. The treatment of the 
Canadian Indians has always evoked much satisfaction. The treaties 
made with them are respected, their allowances both in food and money 
promptly given; farm-instructors, implements, and stock have been placed 
at their disposal on the different reserves, and schools have been pro- 
vided. In fact, the efforts so far made to induce them to settle down to 
work upon the land have been attended with considerable success, and, 
as a general rule, they are on good terms with the Avhite settlers. Eiel 
is believed to be between Carleton and Prince Albert, on the Noilh 
Saskatchewan Kiver. This part of the country is very sparsely settled, 
and for the benefit of friends of settlers in the North- "West, it may be 
stated that Carleton is 500 miles from Winnipeg, and 200 miles from the 
nearest station on the Canadian Pacific Railway, and therefore a long 
way from the populous portion of that part of the Dominion. Many of 
the alarming rumours that have appeared were much exaggerated and 
not based on accurate information. Those who are acquainted with the 
country, and with the Half-breeds, are sanguine that the outbreak is not 
of serious importance, and that it will collapse shortly after the appear- 
ance of General Middleton upon the scene." 

The Half-breeds, or Metis, are the descendants of the early settlers 
in the North-west, by intermarriage with Indian women, and, though 
generally uneducated, they differ very little from the ordinary small- 
farmer class. It should be borne in mind that this outbreak is some 
300 miles beyond the confines of Manitoba, and will in no way affect 
that province, or even the more settled portion of the North-west itself. 
The scene of the disturbances lies between the two branches of the 
Saskatchewan Paver, near Carleton, and Prince Albert, a very old Half- 
breed settlement. 


Tonquin history, according to Chinese authorities, goes back to the 
year 2879 B.C. Tonquin geography, according to Western reckoning, 
may be said to begin Avith M. Dupuis' expedition in the year 1872 A.D. 
True, some vague notions of the general character of the county and some 
knowledge of a more definite kind respecting certain points on the seaboard 
and in the delta of the great stream of Tonquin, the Song-ka or Eed Eiver, 
were in possession of "Western geographers before the latter of the above 
dates. Marco Polo had something to tell about the kingdom of Chiampa 
and the parts adjoining. His information was not of a kind to encourage 
subsequent travellers and traders. Sundry Portuguese and Dutch adven- 
turers in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries visited the coasts of the 
Gidf of Tonquin with a Anew to plunder and possible settlement, and 


; . C > :H I 

A ^ 





found, on the Avhole, the native buccaneers a match for them. Early in 
the seventeenth century Roman Catholic missionary enterprise, which has 
since met with remarkable but intermittent success in this region, first 
became active in Tonquin ; and in 1650 a Jesuit father, De Rhodes, 
published a map of the country. Not long after, the attention of France 
seems to have been called to it as a field of colonisation. A scheme of the 
kind appears to have been entertained at one time by Louis xiv. ; but it 
was not till a century later, in 1787, that an opportunity came for realising 
it. A successful rebellion had driven the reigning King of Annam into 
exile ; the head of the French Jesuit mission at Bangkok, Bishop Pigneaux 
de Behaine, took up the cause of the exile ; and, with the aid of French 
troops, Gia-long reconquered more than " his own " again, and assumed 
the title of "Emperor of Annam." French engineers constructed the 
fortifications at Hanoi and other strategic points, and Christian mis- 
sionaries established themselves in many places in the interior. But the 
Great Revolution upset all the plans of colonisation and conquest, and 
for seventy years Tonquin and Annam were left much to their own devices, 
the old round of civil war, insurrection, and invasion being only varied 
by an occasional massacre of native Christians. 

In 1858, the French had obtained a footing in Cochin-China, the 
extreme southern part of the Annamese dominions, and ten years later 
their attention began to be called to the depredations of the pirates 
inhabiting the Gow-tow and other islands off the Tonquin coast ; and 
Francis Gamier, that " bright particular star " among Indo-Chinese 
explorers, had, in his narrative of the Mekong Expedition, contended that 
the Red River would be found to be the true outlet for the trade of south- 
western China. But, as has been said, it was not until the years 1871-2 
that, through the enterprise of the merchant-adventurer, M. Dupuis, notice 
was seriously drawn to Tonquin. In 1871, M. Dupuis had followed what 
is usually regarded as the main stream of the Song-ka, from near its source 
in the neighbourhood of Yunnan-fa to Laokai on the Tonquinese frontier. 
Next year, armed Avith Chinese permits and contracts, he ascended the 
river with a flotilla of steam launches, in the teeth of Mandarin opposition, 
transferred his goods at Hanoi to river boats, and at Kwan-ce, below the 
" Rapids," to flat-bottomed boats, and eventually reached Yunnan-fu in 

M. Dupuis' exploits were regarded in France and elsewhere as having 
practically solved the question of the navigability of the Song-ka, and of 
the feasibility of "tapping," by means of it, the rich mineral and other 
resources of Yunnan. The idea has been to a large extent dispelled by 
subsequent experience, more especially by the journey made by Mr. 
A. R. Colquhoun across the southern Chinese border-lands in 1882, which 
has gone to show that the upper course of the river is interrupted by 
numerous rapids, ledges, and sand-banks, and in the dry season, from 
November to April, is quite unnavigable even by the flat-bottomed 
native craft ; and that the part of Yunnan to which it affords access is 


one of the most barren, sparsely populated, and disturbed districts of 
south-western China. The effects of M. Dupuis' information was, how- 
ever, soon made manifest in the extraordinary escapade of Gamier, who, 
with a handful of men, captured Hanoi and other strong places on the 
delta in the closing months of 1873. Almost immediately, misadventure 
and death befel the gallant naval Lieutenant, as happened eight or nine 
years later, in the spring of 1882, to Commandant Riviere, after he had 
performed over again the exploits of Gamier. 

These seemingly rash enterprises have undoubtedly committed France 
to the permanent occupation of Tonquin, and have brought her into con- 
flict, first with the Annamese and the " Black Flags " — the sweepings of the 
Tai-ping rebellion, and other predatory bands that during a long period 
of anarchy have gathered head and strength on and within the Tonquin 
frontier — and afterwards with the military forces of China. Of neither 
the political nor military aspect of France's interference in Tonquin have 
Ave anything to say, beyond this, that, whether the enterprise results 
in gain or loss to our neighbours beyond the Channel, it is pretty certain 
to bring great eventual gain to the cause of civilisation and commerce in 
this hitherto anarchic and almost unknown region of the East. But the 
French troops during the last few years have been " making geography " 
almost as industriously as they have "made history." 

To the operations of Gamier and Riviere, and later of Millot, Negrier, 
and Briere de LTsle, Ave OAve it that the delta of the Red River, Avith its 
maze of channels, creeks, and canals, wandering over the fat and steam- 
ing alluvial plain, can noAV be laid down Avith a close approximation to 
accuracy on our maps. 

In the accompanying chart, the main features of the Song-ka river 
system, Avith the positions of the principal strategical positions and seats 
of population in the delta — Hanoi, Bacninh, Sontay, Nam-dinh, and Haid- 
zuong — are delineated. It Avill be seen that it might be more correctly 
described as not one, but tAvo delta systems, corresponding in some way 
to the interlacing channels of the Ganges and Brahmaputra, on the other 
side of the Indo-Chinese peninsula ; the Song-cau, floAving cIoavu from the 
direction of the KAvang-si frontier, past Thai-Nguen, forming in this case 
the complement of the Song-ka basin, to Avhich, indeed, through the Gia- 
cam channel, and the port of Hai-phong, it supplies the chief commercial 

If the delta lands of the Song-ka and Song-cau, Avith their teeming 
rice crops and sAvarming population, form the " flesh " of this oyster — this 
heretofore tightly closed little Eastern Avorld — Avhich the French are intent 
on opening, it must be admitted that it is enclosed in an exceedingly 
rough and impervious shell of mountains. The coast-line, from Cape 
Vung-chua to Cape Pak-lung, may be described as a crescent-shaped 
bight of the Gulf of Tonquin, fringed Avith tidal lagoons, marshes, creeks, 
and river channels, and in the north by an archipelago of large and 
small islands, Avhich have, from time immemorial, been the haunt of sea 


and river pirates. Orographically considered, the low and cultivated 
region of Tonquin may be regarded as a deeper bight or recess between 
two diverging branches of the great mountain system of South-Eastern 
Asia, which sends down its spurs like the outstretched fingers of a hand 
into the Indo-Chinese countries. In the south, and also it would appear 
in the north, the mountains come down close to the sea, and give birth 
to streams with short courses, like the Song-sa and the Song-tam. All 
between drains down into the alluvial Hat of the Song-ka delta, where 
the waters, during the long rainy season, often rise high above the level 
of the adjoining paddy-fields, and where the land, through the deposi- 
tion of the thick sediment which gives its colour to the waters and its 
name to the river, is continually encroaching on the sea. Back of the 
delta are plateaux rising on the north to a height of 3000 feet above sea- 
level, and behind these the forest and mountain region, the features of 
which are still practically unknown. 

Most of the rivers in these parts cut their way in deep gorges through 
a limestone formation, over beds so steep ami boulder-strewn as to be 
practically useless for purposes of navigation. Allusion has already been 
made to what is usually regarded as the main stream of the Song-ka, 
through which M. Dupuis' countrymen fondly hope that a road of access 
^*ill be found to south-western China. It is probable that a still larger 
body of water is contributed by the He-ho, or "Black River," which 
joins the Song-ka proper from the right, about half-way between Sontay 
and Hong-hoa. It also is believed to have its source a considerable dis- 
tance within the Yunnan frontier, but it is rendered utterly useless for 
commercial purposes by a cataract on its lower course. Besides this, the 
country which it drains is, according to latest information, of a most un- 
promising kind — a dense mass of forest-covered mountains, swarming 
with ' ; Black Flags,"' river pirates, and independent Muong tribesmen, who 
promise to afford hard work to the French if they attempt, as has been 
suggested, to open a road of communication by this line with the Upper 
Mekong, the Shan countries, and Burmah. Very different in many 
respects is the chief tributary of the Song-ka on the left bank — the Sin- 
ho or " Clear River " — represented as rising in Yunnan, a little way north 
of the town of Kai-hua, and flowing past the provincial capital of Tuyen- 
Kwang. It is said to give access to a country of great mineral resources 
but its course, also, is much interrupted by rapids and cataracts, and, 
according to Chinese reports, it is even in some places subterranean. 

The Song-cau is in most maps delineated as draining the northern 
province, of which Cao-bang — one of the frontier fortresses, which by the 
new treaty with China will be occupied by the French — is the chief 
town. The singular lake Ba-be, which, in the dry season, forms three 
bodies of Avater that are united and surround a central island, is also 
-;hown to be connected with it. Doubt is thrown on this, as on other 
prepossessions and representations respecting the physical geography of 
the scene of hostilities in Northern Tonquin, by recent information 


from the front. Mr. J. G. Scott — a Scot, we gather, by birth as well as 
name — in his excellent hook, just published by T. Fisher Unwin, record- 
ing a special correspondent's experiences in Tonquin, states that the 
fluvial as well as the political connection of the province of Cao-bang is 
with the Chinese province of Kwangsi, and, we may assume, with the Yu- 
Kiang branch of the great Si-Kiang — the River of Canton ascended by 
Mr. Colquhoun. We learn, indeed, that the limits of the Song-ka River 
system, and therefore the " geographical frontier " of Northern Tonquin, 
must be drawn throughout much further south than is usually supposed. 
Lang-son, made so notorious by recent military and political events, is 
neither on the Loch-nam tributary of Song-cau, nor on the Song-tam, 
which finds its way by an independent course to the Gulf of Tonquin and 
the "Pirate Archipelago," but on the Song-ki-cung, which, says Mr. Scott, 
" goes on into China through the Prefecture of Lung-chan." This stream 
forms, he says, part of the Lang-moon river-basin — perhaps the stream 
marked on the map as the Xgan-nan ; and he confounds all preconceived 
ideas of the geography of this district by stating that this stream forms 
a delta, with one arm stretching so far to the east as to be within four 
hours' march of the Chinese treaty port of Pakhoi, and with another form- 
ing at its mouth the boundary of China and Tonquin ; while, according 
to M. Romanet du Caillaud, the Song-tam is but another branch, and by 
creeks, still further to the southward. " The Annamese assert that one 
can go from Kwang-yen — the rival to Hai-phong as the eventual port of 
Tonquin — to the province of Lang-son without leaving the rivers and 
canals, and without going out to sea." Our only comfort is that of Mr. 
Scott — " in another year we shall doubtless know more about it." Let 
us hope also that some order will by that time be evolved out of the 
chaos of Chinese, Tonquinese, and Annamese nomenclature, and some 
authoritative clew afforded to the spelling which at present helps materially 
to make the confusion of Tonquin geography worse confounded. 



It was in 1855 that Dr. Petermann began to issue those " Communications 
from the Geographical Establishment of Justus Perthes," which, appear- 
ing monthly, constitute an invaluable work of reference for geographers 
throughout the world ; and in the case of such dissertations as seemed too 
copious and lengthy for admission as articles into these Mitteilvngen, the 
editor, in 1860, adopted the plan of publishing them as separate Ergtin- 
zungshe/te, or supplements— usually four or five in the course of the year. 
Since the death of Dr. Petermann, in 1879, the Milteihtngcn and Ergwn wmgs- 
hefte continue to appear much on the old lines, the present editor being 
Dr. Supan. Of these supplemental numbers, the seventy-seventh, now 
before us, deals with the present state of trade in Persia, the condition 


under which it is carried on, its prospects, the facts as to exports, imports, 
roads, telegraphs, tolls, taxes, weights, measures, rate of interest, and many 
other matters of consequence to mercantile folk. It comprises 86 closely 
printed quarto pages, with a map, and is actually equal in extent of printed 
matter to an ordinary octavo of about 400 pages. The information given is 
copious, detailed, precise where precision is at all attainable, and highly- 
varied ; and the authors, Drs. Stolze and Andreas, are entitled to speak with 
authority. Resident in Persia for seven years (from 1874 till 1881) and 
holding official appointments, they had occasion to visit the most out-of- 
the-way places, and came into contact with all classes of the inhabitants ; 
and they not unreasonably claim that they were in a better position for 
obtaining and giving full information on Persia at large, than travellers, or 
even the consuls, whose duties mainly confine them to particular parts or 
great cities. It is here manifestly impossible to do more than glance at 
one or two of the multitude of matters that invite the attention of readers 
of this treatise. 

In these days of swift telegraphic communication, it has become to many 
difficult to realise that news from the further side of the great desert of 
Turkestan may actually require more than three or four days to reach us. 
But unless other people managed their telegraphs on very different prin- 
ciples from the Persians, the wonder would be that at any given time any 
message could be forwarded at all. One of the Persian lines connects 
Teheran with Meshhed in the corner of Persia, next to that debatable land 
in which of late Russian armies and English military commissioners have 
been studying geographical and ethnographical problems with so much 
zeal. But, unlike the great Indo-European line, which passes right through 
Persia and is under English or European management, this line to Mesh- 
hed and all the other fifteen lines in Persia, are wholly under native 
administration. They have all only a single wire, which is carried on 
unsatisfactory wooden posts, with imperfect insulators, and the inspection 
and supervision is so perfunctory that after an accident, " often for weeks 
on end, and over long distances, the wire is left lying on the ground, and 
works only during the dry weather in the good season of the year." Con- 
sequently, one cannot form a very reliable guess as to the length of time 
that may be needed for receiving a despatch from any part of Persia not 
traversed by the very carefully-managed Indo-European line ; and may be 
thankful if the message, once despatched, ultimately finds its way to the 
person or place for which it is intended. 

The letter post was re-organised in 1877 under European auspices ; and 
Persia was supposed to have become a member of the great family of the 
Universal Postal Union. But as the punctual and safe conveyance of letters 
at a regular tariff was contrary to the interest of the numerous function- 
aries who formerly forwarded letters (after, it may be, studying their 
contents and abstracting enclosures) at such rates as suited themselves, 
intrigues were persistently and successfully organised to oust the European 
innovators, and a partial return has been made to the good old system. 


The lack of roads is one serious difficulty in the way of developing 
Persian trade. A great part of Persia consists of long and fertile valleys, 
separated by continuous and lofty mountain ridges, running parallel to 
one another, mostly in the direction from south-east to north-west. 
AVithin any one valley, transit is comparatively easy, even when the road 
or track is not expressly made for wheeled vehicles. But whenever it is 
necessary to pass from one valley to that next beyond it, the difficulties 
of conveying goods become very great. The circuit needed for going 
round the end of the ridges is generally too great to be contemplated. 
The passes are often very high, and the track practicable only for the 
excellent Persian horses and mules, bearing their loads on their backs. 
The cost of conveying heavy goods from the ports of the Persian Gulf, 
across several mountain ranges and intervening valleys into the interior, 
may easily be imagined. It is, therefore, of the utmost consequence that 
the existing roads should be improved, so as to admit of wheeled vehicles 
on all the main lines. The authors of the treatise regard the improvement 
of the roads as vastly more practicable than the making of railways. The 
magnificent concessions made in 1872 to Baron Reuter for making rail- 
ways came to nothing ; subsequent concessions have been sought and 
obtained, but propose only short railways, to connect Persia with the 
Russian railway system, or the Caspian ports. 

For trading purposes, as for many others, Persia falls into two zones, 
the northern and the southern. The former is approached from the 
Black Sea, from the Caucasus, and the Caspian, and has fallen more and 
more exclusively into the hands of the Russians. The southern provinces 
are got at from the Persian Gulf, and have been mainly worked by English 
houses, though of late the Germans, Austrians, and French, are competing 
for Persian favour. Meantime, the only chance of extending European 
commerce in Persia is by working from the south ; for the Russians, while 
making railways that ought to facilitate access to Persia, have effec- 
tively prohibited other nations from using this channel of communication. 
Formerly the only practicable northern route from Western Europe into 
Persia was by the Black Sea, and overland by the tedious road from 
Trebizond to Tabriz through Armenia. The Russian railway, from 
Batum and Poti by Tiflis to Baku on the Caspian, should bring goods very 
easily to the numerous Persian ports on the Caspian. But the Russian 
Government, in the interest of their own traders, introduced, in 1877, 
monstrously prohibitive measures against transit goods passing through 
the Caucasian territory; demanding that a sum, equal in value to the 
goods in question, should be deposited with the Russian authorities, to be 
returned only when it was ascertained by official report that the goods had 
again crossed the frontier intact. As the slightest injury to a seal or ad- 
dress of the packages involved the risk of the goods being detained, and the 
deposit forfeited, traders preferred either to pay the high Russian import 
duty, as though the goods had been intended for Russia, or resumed the 
old tedious overland route from Trebizond. From a French official report 


it appears that, while the carriage of a piano from Marseilles to Teheran 
costs £120, the greater part of this sum belongs to the comparatively 
short journey after its arrival at th^ Russian frontier. A photographic 
apparatus cost 13 francs from Marseilles to Poti, and from Poti to Teheran 
180 francs. In this quarter, England, Germany, and all other countries 
are equally at the mercy of Russian diplomacy, and can hardly count oh 
more favourable conditions ; for though the decree of 1877 was for awhile 
modified, the prohibitive measures have been again resumed. But the 
German authors see nothing to hinder a great extension of German trade 
with Persia by way of the southern ports ; they rely on the commercial 
treaty between Persia and Germany ratified in 1873, and the recent 
establishment of a German Legation, at Teheran. Formerly, Germans and 
Swiss, as well as Armenians, had to place their interests under the pro- 
tection of the British Consular and diplomatic authorities. Xow, Drs. 
Stolze and Andreas look for a favourable turn in German prospects, and 
give some (to them) cheerful proofs that, in East Persia and Central Asia, 
English goods, till of late the only foreign manufactures known, are being 
largely superseded by German and other products. 

The system of internal taxation within Persia itself is also highly 
complicated and embarrassing. For foreign traders the import duty i^ 
nominally 5 per cent, ad valorem. But the collection of these dues is let 
by the Central Government to a large number of farmers and under- 
farmers of customs. The farmers agree to pay the Government a certain 
fixed sum : to secure a large overplus, it is thus their interest to attract 
as much trade as they can to their respective districts. They accordingly 
endeavour to underbid the collectors in the adjoining districts, and in other 
ports ; and, by agreeing to pass goods at much less than the official customs 
tariff, to get traders to desert other trade routes for those passing their 
way. Thus they often find it prudent to exact no more than 2 per cent. 
This naturally calls for considerable calculation on the part of the traders, 
and brings about frequent changes in the routes to be preferred. Another 
consequence is the extreme difficulty of getting accurate returns of imports 
and exports, as it is hardly convenient for the farmers of the customs to 
let it be known precisely what value of goods has been taxed by them 
in any given period. Drs. Stolze and Andreas, who base many of their 
statements on the returns of the English Consuls and other agents, point 
out frequent inconsistencies and defects in the English Blue Books, from 
year to year, on this subject. 

The Persian valleys are many of them extremely fertile, and with 
extended irrigation might produce vastly more ; so that if roads were made 
and more rational administrative methods employed, the produce of Persia 
might be very greatly extended. In that case its demand for foreign goods 
would grow in like proportion ; for the Persians as a rule are luxurious, 
and like to buy such things as they fancy, even when they can ill afford it. 
For a loan of ready money they cheerfully pay interest at the rate of 2 per 
cent, per month, settled monthly ; that is, nearly 29 per cent, per annum. 
VOL. I. M 


A notable fact in the recent history of Persian trade is the rapid 
increase of the opium exports. Since the silk-worm disease rendered silk 
culture less profitable, opium has been largely grown in the silk districts. 
In 1871-72, some 870 chests were exported, worth 696,000 rupees; in 
1877-78, the figures were 4730 chests, worth 4,730,000 rupees ; in 1880-81, 
7700 chests, worth 8,740,000 rupees. As large quantities of opium are 
used in Germany for the manufacture of morphia, it is pointed out in this 
treatise tbat it would be highly advantageous to German trade that the 
opium should be shipped direct to Germany from Persia or elsewhere, and 
not pass as at present through London. Since 1865 the silk crop has been 
very fluctuating. 

The boxwood of Persia is a very valuable possession, but has been 
extirpated in large districts. Now some attempts are being made to 
regulate the cutting of the trees. Gums, drugs, and dyes, are largely 
exported, but might be much more extensively produced. Persia is an 
admirable land for wine culture. Vines in great variety grow to high 
perfection in numerous districts ; and some really good wine is made. 
"With more careful methods of manufacture, excellent wine of Shiraz 
could, even in spite of the deplorable roads, be shipped at Bushire at 
about sixpence a litre. Enormous quantities of raisins are exported to 
Russia. Comment is made not merely on all the important articles of 
export and of import, but the special kinds of manufactured articles 
required by Persians are carefully described, and hints given as to ways 
in which the imports might be increased by German traders. 

From the United States Government. 

The best acknowledgments of the Scottish Geographical Society are due 
to the United States Government for presenting to the Society's library a 
series of the admirable official volumes, dealing with subjects of com- 
mercial, administrative, scientific, and general interest, issued from the 
Secretary of State's Department at Washington. In the preparation of 
these works, as well as in the cosmopolitan spirit in which they are dis- 
tributed, our American friends display a liberality which other Govern- 
ments might do well to copy ; it can only be hoped that the favours they 
so freely bestow on the learned Societies of other countries, as well as 
their own, will come back to them with interest after not many days. In 
the set bestowed on the Society's library are included twenty-six volumes 
of the Reports on the Foreign and Commercial Relations of the United State.*, 
from 1870 to 1883, inclusive; Reports of the Secretary of the Interior 
for 1881-83; also Reports on the Survey of the Boundary between the 
Republic and the British Possessions in North America ; and on the 
Public Domain of the United States for 1883. The value and varied 


interest of the contents of the volumes, and the special importance 
which many of them possess for geographers hardly need to be pointed 
out. Other volumes, embodying the Land Laws of the United States, 
deserve, for obvious reasons, the attention of those Scotsmen who con- 
template emigration to America, or already possess a stake in the soil 
of the Republic. The series of Census Reports are perhaps still more 
entitled to notice. In the vast amount of labour bestowed, in amplitude 
of detail, in elaboration of analysis, and in richness of illustration, no 
statistical work lias yet approached the Reports of the Tenth Census of 
the United States (1880). Great credit is due to Mr. Francis A. Walker, 
on whom the bulk of the work of census superintendence, at least in the 
early stages, fell ; and to those who assisted him, and have since carried 
his labours to completion. The excellent and carefully prepared series of 
maps, diagrams, and illustrations, which accompany the reports may be 
studied with advantage by such as desire to see at a glance the process of 
growth, the westward movement, the aggregation according to colour 
and foreign or native birth, and the arrangement in respect to lines of 
temperature, rainfall, and hygrometric conditions of the population of 
the United States ; and to stud}- the condition of that population in 
its commercial, agricultural, manufacturing, or other aspects. By the 
solidity of the scientific results attained, and by the beauty and wealth of 
their illustration, the volumes of the Geographical and Geological Survey 
of the United States Territories have obtained world-wide notice. These 
are continued and their reputation sustained and enhanced, in the Reports 
of the new Department of the Geological Survey, under the directorship 
of Mr. J. W. Powell, the three first volumes of which — those for 1881-3 
— have been forwarded by favour of the Secretary of the Interior, along 
with a valuable set of charts and atlases, including Professor Hayden's 
Geological and Geographical Atlas of Colorado, and a Statist istic Atlas of 
America. Besides this donation — amounting to nearly sixty volumes — 
the Bureau of Navigation, Navy Department, Washington, has forwarded 
a roll of charts, and the United States Geological Survey has sent the 
whole of the publications of the Survey so far distributed. 

From the Italian Government. 

To the liberality of the Italian Government, acting through the learned 
chief of its Statistical Department, Professor Luigi Bodio, the Society is 
indebted for a valuable series of volumes, one of which, the Annuario 
Statistico for 1884, was already noticed at p. 72 ante. Of the rest the most 
important is an elaborate monograph on Rome and the Camjmgna, published 
in two handsome quartos, with separate appendixes and a large atlas. From 
the bibliography (120 closely-printed pages) one gathers a good idea of the 
enormous part Borne has played in the world's history. The Archivio di 
Statistica and the Annali di Statistica take a high rank among publications 
<>f their class, and are characterised more particularly by a broad cosmo- 
politanism of treatment While Italian subjects naturally preponderate. 


they are generally brought into contact with a large body of illustrative 
material derived from foreign sources. Such a paper, for instance, as that 
on the Comparative Statistics of some Italian and Foreign Cities (in vol. ix. 
(of 1884) of the Annali), supplies such details of social interest in regard 
to London, Paris, Lyons, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Berlin, etc., etc., as the 
price per square metre of ground in the dearest part of the city, the ratio 
of population to area, that of local taxation to population, etc., etc. As of 
strictly geographical note, may be mentioned Marinelli's paper (1883) on 
the Area of Italy. 

From the Danish Government. 

The Danish Government has forwarded, through the Minister of Marine, 
a very valuable series of Charts of the Baltic, founded on the Danish 
Survey, and of the Danish Colonies, including the Faroe Islands, Iceland, 
Greenland, and the Danish AVest Indies. These Charts, amounting to 
over sixty in number, are well known to seamen for their excellence and 
accuracy ; intricate passages and entrances to harbours are so clearly 
marked that, in many cases, the aid of pilots can be dispensed with. 
Those of Iceland and Greenland are especially interesting, the contour of 
the land being also shown. When, in 1883, Mr. W. H. Smith visited the 
Baltic, in his steam-yacht Pandora, he procured a set of Danish charts, 
which he used in preference to the Admiralty charts he had on board. 

From the Swedish Government. 

A roll of forty-two charts has been received from the Swedish Govern- 
ment, through the Minister of Marine. They comprise a complete series 
of the Swedish coast-line, the Skagerrack, the Cattegat, the Baltic, the 
Sound, the Belts, and the Stockholm Archipelago, with the lakes Malar, 
Wenern, and Wettern. The same praise may be extended to them as was 
given to the Danish charts, which they even surpass in the excellent finish 
of the engraving:. 


The April meeting of the Society was held in the Masonic Hall on April 2nd — 
Lord Balfour of Burleigh, Vice-President, in the chair. The Chairman, in opening 
the proceedings, stated that the Secretary had heard only in the forenoon that 
Mr. H. H. Johnston, who was to have read the paper that evening, had been pre- 
vented from attending in consequence of a severe attack of ague. Mr. Johnston 
had, however, forwarded his paper from London, and his Lordship then called upon 
Dr. George Smith to read it. The paper, which forms our leading article, was then 
read by Dr. George Smith ; and on its conclusion the Bev. Dr. Laws and Mr. 
Frederick Maitland Moir made a few remarks in reference to it. Lord Balfour 
moved that a cordial vote of thanks he awarded to Mr. Johnston for his interesting 
paper, and to Dr. George Smith for reading it, which was warmly accorded. His 
Lordship next moved, and Dr. Burgess seconded the motion, " That, in terms of the 
laws of the Society, the following members be appointed trustees to hold the 


property of the Society, namely : — Mr. Adam Black, publisher, Edinburgh, Mr. 
Hubert Cox of Gorgie, Midlothian ; Mr. James Currie, shipowner, Leith ; and the 
Honorary Treasurers of the Society, Messrs. Alexander Bruce, Edinburgh, and 
Robert Gourlay, Glasgow, ex officio," which was unanimously carried. Mr. Ralph 
Richardson, the senior Honorary Secretary, stated that a sum of nearly .£400 had 
been subscribed by members of the Society towards Mr. H. 0. Forbes' expedition to 
New Guinea, an announcement which was received with applause. A vote of 
thanks to the Chairman, moved by Mr. Cox of Gorgie, terminated the proceedings. — 
On the following evening a meeting of the Glasgow Branch of the Society was held 
in the Hall of the Philosophical Society of Glasgow. Mr. Michael Connal, in the 
absence of Mr. James Stevenson, of Largs, occupied the chair, and intimated that 
owing to ill-health Mr. Johnston had been unable to leave London, and that his 
paper would therefore be read by the Secretary of the Scottish Geographical Society. 
Dr. Turner, Secretary of the Geographical Section of the Glasgow Philosophical 
Society, read a communication from Mr. James Stevenson, directing special attention 
to Mr. Johnston's paper and pointing out that the construction of the Suakin- 
Berber railway would enable British traders to reach the districts within and around 
the junction of the Blue and White Niles, which offered a favourable field for 
commercial enterprise. The paper having been read, Dr. Christie, Mr. Ewing, 
and Mr. James Thomson delivered short addresses. Mr. Ralph Richardson referred 
to the subscription towards Mr. Forbes' expedition, and both he and Mr. Silva 
White expressed, on behalf of the Society, gratification at the first joint meeting 
of the Geographical Section of the Glasgow Philosophical Society and the Scottish 
Geographical Society having been so successfully carried out. A vote of thanks 
was awarded to the Chairman for presiding. 


St. Brandan [ante, p. 124). — On the terrestrial globe of Martin Behem, made at 
Nuremburg in 1492, a large island is laid down between 40° and 47° W. long, 
from Ferro, and extending from the equator to about 9° N. lat., and it is stated 
that " in the year 565 St. Brandan came in his ship to this island." It was also laid 
down on many maps of the 15th century by the name of St. Brandan or St. Borondon. 
St. Brendan or Brandan is well known in early legend (see, e.g. Fordun's Chronicle, 
ed. 1872, vol. ii. p. 24), and his life and acts exist in several editions. He was one 
of the twelve disciples of Finnian of Clonard, and soon after his ordination by Bishop 
Ere he is said to have sailed with fourteen monks in quest of the land of promise of 
the saints, and spent seven years in the search. The monkish narrative of this long 
voyage to different unknown islands* was one of the most popular tales of the 
middle ages, and had its influence on the mind of Columbus in determining him to 
seek for new lands in the far west. On Brendan's return, he went to visit St. Gildas, 
and then to the Western Isles, where he founded a church and village in Tiree and a 
monastery, perhaps on the Edean-na-Naoimh in the Firth of Lorn, the next island 
to which is Culbrandon or Brandan's retreat, and not far to the north of it, on the 
island of Seil, the church is dedicated to Brendan. We have also Kilbrandan or 

* Yule, in his Marco Polo, vol. ii. p. 294, quotes the following curious lines from Bauduin 
de Sebourg (L 123) : 

" Li est de Saint Brandon le matere furnie, 
Qui fut si pres d'enfer, a nef et a galie, 
Que (liable d'enfer isserent, par maistrie, 
Getans brandons de feu, pour lui faire hasquie." . . 


Kilbremian Sound, and the natives of Bute are called " the Brendanes '' (Skene's Ct Me 
Scotland, vol. ii. p. 77). In 559 a.d. the saint founded his principal monastery at 
( 'lonfert in Ireland, so that the date given on Beheni's globe is probably twenty 
yea ra in error, his voyage having been made in his earlier life. J. u. 

Another correspondent supplies the following : — 

St. Brandan's Isle and the " Terrestrial Eden." — In view of some recent specula- 
tions connected with the subject, and as bearing on a claim to cany Scottish 
geographical research back to a remote period, the inquiry of a correspondent in last 
number in regard to " St. Brandan's Island " seems to merit some attention. 
The answer to "X.'s" question as to the form of the saintly legend of the 
voyage of the Scoto-Irish " eremite " may perhaps be most conveniently found in the 
following quotation from the curious work just published by Dr. W. F. Warren, of 
Boston, entitled Paradise Found; or the Cradle of the Human Race at the North Pol? 
(London : Sampson Low & Co.) : — 

" According to the story an angel brought to the good abbot, St. Brandan, son of 
Finlogho, who died a.d. 576 or 577, a book from heaven, in which such marvellous 
things were narrated concerning the then unknown portions of the world that the 
honest father charged both angel and book with falsehood, and in his righteous 
indignation burned the latter. As a punishment for his unbelief, God sentenced 
him to recover the book. He must search through earth and hell and sea until he 
finds the heavenly gift. The token given him by the angel is that when he sees 
two twin fires flame up, he shall know that they are the two eyes of a certain ox, and 
on the tongue of that ox he shall find the book. For seven long years he sails the 
Western and the Northern Ocean. He here encounters more marvels than were 
recorded in the original incredible book, and is even permitted to visit the Earthly 
Paradise. The beauty of the soil, of the fountain with four streams, of the magni- 
ficent castle lighted with self-luminous stones and adorned with all manner of 
precious jewels, surpassed description. The stay of the party seems, however, to 
have been short, and unfortunately just where the island was located the commander 
forgets to mention." 

There is a strong family likeness, possibly also a common origin, in the St. 
Brandan legend and the stories of the Fortunate Islands and Garden of the Hespe- 
rides ; the Keltic terrestrial paradise, Avalon, the home of Morgan la Fee, visited 
by King Arthur, Holger Danske, and other heroes of chivalry, and many more ocean 
myths that have floated before the imaginations of saintly and secular romancers of 
the old world. A favourite theory of mediaeval theologians and travellers was that 
the " Earthly Eden " was to be found in an unapproachable island of the Indian 
Ocean, sometimes identified with Ceylon ; and in this connection allusion may be 
made to the fact (which seems to have escaped the notice of Dr Warren) that the 
late General Gordon latterly occupied his mind much with a hypothesis that the 
true site of the " Paradise " of Genesis is the Seychelles Islands, and that he even 
believed that he had discovered, in the coco de mer, the " forbidden fruit." General 
Gordon's conclusions are understood to have rested largely on the existing and pre- 
historic conditions of the bed of the Indian Ocean, which he considered pointed 
to the convergence on the Seychelles of the " four great rivers " now represented by 
areas of oceanic depression. How is it, by the way, that no ingenious speculator in 
the dim region of ancient cosmology and mythical geography, has not fixed upon 
Roraima, ascended the other day by Mr. Im Thuin, as the true site of the 
" Terrestrial Eden"? It fulfils better than most others the required conditions of 
the " Golden Summit of the World," and of the " quadrifurcate rivers." Columbus, 
while struggling on his third voyage with the great volume of fresh water from the 


Oronoko, which rushes through the narrows of the Gulf of Paria, was " hot " on the 
long-sought-for site. He was convinced that the water must flow from the Mountain 
of the World, on which, according to the theologians whom he cites, is placed the 
Earthly Paradise, " whither no one can go but by God's permission ; " and, he adds, 
" if the water of which I speak does not proceed from the Earthly Paradise, it seems 
to be a still greater wonder, for I do not believe that there is any river in the world so 
large and deep." The veracious Sir John de Mandeville, who gives his description oh 
the authority of " wise men," as he repents that he did not visit the spot himself, sup- 
plies us with particulars regarding the primitive Eden, which, it must be admitted, 
agree singularly well on some points with the account of the mysterious mountain of 
Guiana, " It is so high that the flood of Noah might not come to it, that would have 
covered all the earth of the world all about and above and beneath, except Paradise. 
And this Paradise is enclosed all about with a wall, and men know not whereof it is, 
for the wall is covered all over with moss, as it seems ; and it seems not that the wall 
is natural stone. And in the highest place of Paradise, secretly in the middle, is a 
well that casts forth four streams, which run by divers lands." Thus far old-world 
assertion and new-world speculation, on a point which does not seem, in spite of Dr. 
Warren's ingenious and eloquent plea for the North Pole as the " primitive centre 
of distribution of the race," to admit of scientific determination ; while the fate of 
St. Brandan is a warning against rash scepticism on any point of geography. In 
conclusion, however, a reference may be permitted at this moment to the proposed 
identification of the Helmund with the Phrath of the Mosaic record, and to the im- 
posing array of authority, to the effect that the " Cradle of the Human Race " is to be 
sought, not at the North Pole, nor at the sources of Euphrates, Nile, or Oronoko, 
nor in some unsubmerged fragment of "Lemuria" or "Atlantis," but in the neigh- 
bourhood of the " debatable land " of North-western Afghanistan, over which 
Russia and Great Britain have been on the point of quarrelling. J. g. 

No. 6. — F. W. inquires, Where is Arkinholm, vaguely mentioned in Burton's 
History of Scotland and elsewhere as the spot where the Douglases met in conflict ? 
[Arkinholm was situated on the river Esk, in Annandale, opposite Wauchope 
Kirk (Tytler), and the town of Langholm now occupies the site (Armstrong's 
Liddesdale, vol. i. p. 157). It is curious to observe that while the name of the 
town has changed, Arkinholm remains in the district. Slater's Directory for 
Langholm contains such entries as Alexander Stevenson, Esq., J.P., of Arkenholm, 
Arkingholm Terrace, and Erkingholme Terrace.] 


Blantyre, Lanarkshire. — No name combines more harmoniously the ideas of 
Scottish topography of world-wide research than that of Blantyre, the Clydesdale 
parish which was the birthplace of Dr. Livingstone, and the nameplace of that 
other Blantyre on the Shire uplands, which is the fitting memorial of the Church of 
Scotland to the heroic zeal of the great traveller and missionary. The Rev. 
Stewart Wright, the minister of the parish, in his Annals of Blantyre, just 
published (Wilson and M'Cormick, Glasgow), rightly interprets Blantyre's most 
honourable distinction ; for the frontispiece of his book is a view of the humble 
building where, " in a little room up a spiral stair, David Livingstone first saw the 
light ;" and there is an interesting notice of his early days in " the sweet and pretty 
village " by the Clyde, and his later geologising rambles in a neighbourhood then 


quiet and rural, but how a busy seat of the coal and iron industries. Blantyre, 
however, has other claims to mention, some of them not unconnected with geography. 
A young Blantyre blacksmith, named William Pollock, emigrated to Virginia 
towards the end of last century, and became the owner of valuable plantations in 
that State. The family changed its name to Polk, and the blacksmith's grandson 
was James Knox Polk, under whose Presidentship the United States underwent an 
enormous territorial development by the annexation of Texas, California, and other 
Mexican possessions to the Union. Here is another fact picked from Mr. Wright's 
little volume, which has some topographical interest, especially for Glasgow. In 
1770, Mr. John Finnie, the veteran librarian of Glasgow University, was presented 
to the church and parish of Blantyre, and thus became the occasion of a " disputed 
settlement," which was suddenly terminated by the death of the aged presentee. 
While a tutor in the family of Mr. Orr, of Stobcross, Mr. Finnie suggested to that 
gentleman the advantages of laying out a village adjoining Anderston. The plan 
was acted upon, and thus the " rejected presentee " of Blantyre has become the 
name-father of the populous and busy suburb of " Finnieston." 

Arctic Exploration. — Lieutenant Hovgaard, leader of the Dijmphna Expedition, 
corresponding member of the Scottish Geographical Society, writes to us from Copen- 
hagen, on April 4th, as follows : — " Though it is my opinion that the only route left to 
penetrate into the unknown regions round the North Pole is that route proposed by 
me in 1882, it is impossible to raise such an expedition here in Denmark. Every- 
body here, who takes an interest in Arctic exploration, dreams about Greenland, 
and everywhere I get the answer : ' Go to Greenland ; the other route must be 
explored by the great nations.' For some years, therefore, I shall be forced to 
abandon my favourite exploring ground ; and it is my intention to proceed to the 
east coast of Greenland with the Dijmphna, which M. Gamel has offered me for 
another expedition. Still, I don't think I shall be able to leave Denmark before 
1886 ; and I then intend to enter the pack ice at about 65° lat., take up my winter 
quarters in the neighbourhood of Cape Dan, and from thence, by sledge, explore the 
unknown coast up to Scoresby Sound, paying, of course, special attention in regard 
to the ancient colonies." 

A Message from the North Cape. — Signor Sommier, author of Un Estate in 
Siberia, noticed in the Scottish Geographical Magazine, p. 53, left Florence in 
January last with the intention of proceeding to the North Cape, and after- 
wards making a winter tour in Lapland. He writes from Skarsvaag, Mageroe, 
on the 16th February, to a member of the Scottish Geographical Society : — 
" My friend and I have been imprisoned here for eleven days. We have been 
to the North Cape, and that is why we are here ; we are the first who have trodden 
the famous Cape in the winter season. When, by the help of wind and tide, we 
get back to Hammerfest, we shall go on to Alten, and from thence either to 
Archangel or to Haparanda and Stockholm. The journey from here to the North 
Cape is tiring, except in very good weather ; in bad weather it is impossible, and 
might even be dangerous, as there are snow-storms almost daily. I have myself 
had part of my nose frozen. The lowest temperature I experienced in southern 
Norway was —30° Centigrade ( — 22° Fahr.) of cold, but up here it is never below 
-14° ( + 6°-8Fahr.)." 


Port Hamilton and Quelpart. — The last public service rendered to his country by 
Sir Harry Parkes was the arrangement by which England acquires a coaling station 


at Port Hamilton. This port was at first described in the newspapers as in the 
island of Quelpart, and thus both places have come up for inquiry. The following 
as to Port Hamilton is taken from the China Pilot (fourth edition, 1864) : — "The 
Nan-how or Nagn-hau group, lying about N.N.E. i E., 38 miles from the north- 
east end of Quelpart, consists of two large islands, deeply indented, the northern 
points of which nearly meet, and which, with a third and smaller island, Observatory 
Island, situated between their south-eastern points, form a spacious and well- 
sheltered harbour named Port Hamilton, the main entrance to which is at the 
south-east part of the group. These islands may be readily distinguished from the 
numerous clumps of islets and rocks in the neighbourhood by their greater size and 
massive, bold appearance, as well as their peculiar position. Except at a great 
distance from the south-eastward, they invariably make as one island. Within 
Observatory Island a vessel may be safely hove down for repairs. Wood is scarce ; 
fresh water is plentiful and good, and easily embarked. Fish may be caught with 
the seine. The largest village is in the north-west part of the harbour, and in 1859 
it contained 250 inhabitants. The Port Hamilton group, so far as the examination 
of the surveying vessel Saracen went in 1856, is clear of danger on all sides, but is 
best approached from the south-east. There is also no difficulty in entering the port 
at night if the weather be not very thick." The name was given by Belcher in 1845 
in compliment to the Secretary of the Admiralty. 

The island of Quelpart, which lies 60 miles distant from the southern coast of 
Corea, and commands the straits between that peninsula and Kiu-shiu, the southern 
island of Japan, has been not inappropriately termed the " Sicily of the Italy of the 
East." In length it is about 4<> miles, and in breadth, at the widest point, about 
17. " It may be said," remarks Mr. (iriffis (p. 200), "to be an oval rock-bound 
island, covered with innumerable conical mountains, tipped in many instances by 
extinct volcanic craters, and all bowing down before one vast and towering giant, 
whose foot is planted in the centre, and whose head is lost in the clouds." This 
culminating peak — Mount Auckland, or as the natives call it Aula, or Han-ra-san, 
has a height of 6500 feet, and its white rocks wear the appearance of being covered 
with perpetual snow. On the top are three extinct craters, each with its own lake 
of pure water ; and, according to Corean folk-lore, in those lakes the three first- 
created men in the world still reside. The scenery provided by the dense woods 
and lofty peaks throughout the island is very beautiful. Pines and a species of red 
wood, resembling mahogany, are the prevailing trees. The rich volcanic soil is 
under careful cultivation, and produces wheat, barley, maize, Russian radishes, 
turnips, etc. There are large herds of cattle, and numerous ponies, which are in 
great demand on the mainland. The islanders also follow the pursuit of fishermen, 
and a flourishing industry is provided by the manufacture of straw-plaited hats, 
which are in general use throughout Corea. Three walled cities and a number 
of towns are said to exist in the island. The capital is Moggun (Mon-gan), or 
Tse-tsiu, about the middle of the north coast, described by Belcher as standing 
in a broad valley, with a conspicuous flat eminence on its eastern side, and a small 
river or copious stream on the west. The city wall on the face exposed to the sea 
occupies a line of about 500 yards, containing seven bastions." It is 25 feet in 
height, and apparently of European design. Quelpart has been known from ancient 
times, when it formed the separate kingdom of Tam-na. It was in 1653 the scene 
of the shipwreck of Dutch vessels, to which we owe Hamel's account of Corea 
(see Pinkerton, vol. i.). For further information see Belcher, Voyage of B.M.S. 
Samarang, 1848; Nautical Magazine, 1879; Opperts' A Forbidden Land, 1880 ; 
(iriffis' Corea, the Hermit Nation, 1882; Nature, 1885, p. 541. The writer in 
Nature says the best account is one (published in an English journal printed in 


China) from the pen of a gentleman who visited the place with the French Consul 
in Shanghai, at the time of the reported wreck of the Narwhal, in 1851. 

The Afghan Frontier.— General Walker, C.B., late Surveyor-General of India, 

read a paper on February 27th last before the Royal United Service Institution, on 

the Afghan Frontier. By means of a large wall-map, the lecturer proceeded to 

give the geography of the whole region, pointing out the boundaries of the various 

races, and describing the physical features of the country generally, interspersing 

his descriptions with dissertations upon the ethnical differences of the peoples. 

The Afghans were the most numerous and important of the dwellers in the kingdom, 

which had a mixed population of about 5,000,000 ; and the lecturer gave a succinct 

history of the race over several centuries. He proceeded to say that the people 

residing in the immediate vicinity and on both sides of the Russo- Afghan frontier 

might be most conveniently studied by dividing the line into three sections ; the 

first, extending from the sources of the Oxus in the Pamir highlands to the point 

where the river debouches into the plains ; the second, from that point to Khwaja 

Saleh : the third, from Khwaja Saleh to Sarakhs. In the first were the petty States 

of Wilkhan, Shaghnan, Rhoshan, and Darwaz, each with lands on both banks of the 

river, and the larger states of Badakshan, wholly to the south, and Karategin, 

wholly to the north of the river. The people of these States were regarded by 

ethnologists as all of one fundamental stock, the Galcha ; those to the north of the 

river had been assigned to Bukhara, and those to the south to Afghanistan, by 

agreement between the Russian and British Governments ; but, as a matter of fact, 

the riverain boundary was not recognised by the people of the country, and at the 

present moment the Amir of Bukhara tried to govern the whole of Darwaz, and the 

Amir of Afghanistan tried to govern the whole of Wakhan, Roshan, and Shaghnan, 

each pushing his authority as far as he could across the river. In the second section, 

the population on both banks was mostly composed of Tajiks and Uzbegs, with a 

very sensible Afghan element on the south bank ; but here the river was accepted 

as an appropriate natural boundary-line. In the third section was an air-line 

boundaiy, to the north of which all the population was Turkoman, while to the 

south it was Turkoman, Tajik, Uzbeg, and Afghan. In the opinion of the 

lecturer, Herat was but the gateway to one of the half-dozen passes over the Hindu 

Khush Range, leading to various routes through Afghanistan, and Khelat had far 

more claim to be called the " Key of India." 

Panj-deh. — Professor Arminius Vambery, Corresponding Member of the Scottish 
Geographical Society, writing from Budapest University, March 1, to the Tvmes, 
says : — " From various reports in the papers I see that the Russians claim 
Sari-Yazi (i.e. the Yellow Plain) as their own, declaring this station on the 
road to Panj-deh, as well as the last-named place, to be an integral part of the 
Turkoman district of Merv. In order to find a legal basis for this assertion they 
pretend that Panj-deh, as well as the whole tract of country extending from Maruchak 
to the oasis of Merv, was formerly incorporated by the Khan of Khiva into the 
Turkoman country, and that consecpiently the Russians, as the actual possessors of 
Merv, have the right to look upon Panj-deh as their own property. 

" Such an assumption is utterly false, and might easily lead to great misunder- 
standings. The fact is simply this. In the time of the Khivan ruler Allah-Kuli 
Khan (1826-1841) the Uzbegs of Khiva had succeeded in extending their forays 
from the Turkoman country to the Upper Murghab, and had forced a large portion 
of the Jemshidis, then subjects of Afghanistan, to migrate to Kokcheg, in the 
Khanate of Khiva. On that occasion the Uzbegs had penetrated even beyond 
Panj-deh, as far as Bala Murghab, but they returned at once to Merv without 


retaining any of the said places. The same happened in the time of Muhammad 
Emir Khan (1843-1855; ; and, since forays or temporary inroads in a country 
cannot be taken for a permanent conquest, the Upper Murghab— neither Panj-deh 
nor even Sari-Yazi — cannot be looked on as belonging to the Turkoman country. 
i.e. to Merv ; and the Russians are again drifting into one of those dilemmas which 
are based upon the principle, ' My will is my right.' As far as I know, the boundary 
of the Merv oasis towards the south never extended beyond Baba-Gombez and 
Yoloten, and this may be proved by the Persian saying current among the 
Jemshidis, 'Guzesht er Yoloten' — viz., 'He is gone beyond Yoloten' — i.e. he is 
fallen into the captivity of the Turkomans." 

Panj-deh and its Vicinity. — Major Holdich, R.E., chief of the Geographical Section 
of Sir Peter Lumsden's Commission, in the latest notes sent home by him, describes 
the country which is now the scene of operations. He says : — " Five miles south 
of Pul-i-Khisti, the hills on the right bank of the Kushk river cease trending away 
round to the left of the Murghab river, and leaving a well-defined delta to fill in 
the fork between two rivers. This delta is a kind of steppe, for the rivers run in 
narrow valleys some hundred feet below it, and out of this valley rises Ak Tapa. 
The top of Ak Tapa is on a level with the steppe. Ak Tapa is distinctly the 
strongest and most strategical position in the country. It dominates all the roads 
to Herat, which diverge from the head of the Kushk and Murghab rivers, and it 
bars the way to the entrance of the two finest and most fertile valleys north of the 
Paropamisus. The Murgh&b is a deep and impassable river near Ak Tapa, between 
30 and To feet wide. The ruins of the old Panj-deh fort are some five miles north 
of Ak Tapa on the left bank of the Murghab, and the new fort is a mile further 
north. The latter is not remarkable in any way." Dash-Kepri, mentioned by 
General Komaroff, is in the vicinity of Band-i-Kadur, where there is a dam across 
the Murghab. Concerning Maruchak. on which place the Afghans fell back 
when driven from Panj-deh, Major Holdich says it is the only place of import- 
ance between Panj-deh and Bala Murghab. There is the largest fort there that 
he has ever seen, and the remains of a brick bridge that could be reconstructed. 
Bala Murghab is some distance south, 41 miles from Panj-deh. It has a fort 
in a very good state of preservation, which is occupied by the Amir's troops. 
Concerning Herat, Major Holdich says it could be invested without much difficulty. 
The villages, affording capital cover for an enemy, cluster round it right up to the 
foot of the mud walls. 

The Lena Expedition. — The Globus, No. 15, gives the following, on the authority 
of the Novoe Vryema : — " Nikolai Jurgens, the leader of the Lena Expedition, 
arrived towards the end of last December in St. Petersburg. The Lena is one of those 
expeditions sent in the year 1882 for the purpose of taking magnetic and meteoro- 
logical observations, and pursuing other investigations, in various regions of the far 
north. Russia fitted and sent out two expeditions, one to the west coast of Nova 
Zembla, and the other to the mouth of the Lena. The tasks of the Lena Expedition 
were of a more difficult nature, both for climatic reasons and on account of its remote 
destination and the difficulties of travel. The members of the expedition successfully 
carried out for a whole year the work with which they were intrusted, and even wished 
to remain for another ten months. They were unable to remain to the close of the 
second year, as it would have been quite impossible to transport their instruments 
and other equipment from the mouth of the Lena to Yakutsk, for which purpose it 
was necessary to take advantage of the short summer in order to reach the water- 
way to Yakutsk. On the 26th of June 1884, therefore, they left their position at 
the mouth of the Lena. All the members of the expedition enjoyed good health, 


and there were no deaths. The first part of their work, whilst engaged in erecting 
their huts and instruments, was especially difficult. The expedition did not ex- 
perience the extreme cold that was anticipated, viz., - 50° Celsius ( - 58° Fahr.). In 
calm weather, a lower temperature than that experienced would have been bearable 
enough, but there were continuous winds, which made the cold more trying. The 
long Polar nights were also very tedious ; and the damp cold summers were by no 
means agreeable, for the sun scarcely ever shone, and the temperature only on one 
occasion rose to +12° Celsius ( + 53° "6 Fahr.). Under such conditions the vegetation 
of this region could not be otherwise than very scanty — indeed, scarcely anything 
but moss is to be found. In the neighbourhood of the island of Sagastyr, there are 
no regularly inhabited places, only Yakuts occasionally visit there for the fishing. 
When they took up their quarters on Sagastyr for the purpose of taking observa- 
tions, they believed that this was the northernmost part of the Lena delta, but later 
explorations discovered the existence of an island called Dunay, which was still 
more northerly, being in 74° of north latitude. The geographical explorations 
carried out will add much to the cartographical information of that district. One 
member of the expedition, Dr. Bunge, remained behind in Siberia to explore 
during the current year the territory of the river Jana ; and next year he will give 
his attention to the Siberian islands." 

Bridge over the Jordan. — In February of this year, the first bridge built over the 
Jordan in modern times was opened for traffic in presence of the Governor of 
Jerusalem, the military and civil authorities of the neighbourhood, the heads of 
various religious communities in Jerusalem, and numerous Bedouin sheikhs. The 
bridge crosses the river near the ruins of Jericho ; it is solidly built of wood, and is 
140 feet long by 16 wide. From the reports of early Christian pilgrims, there would 
seem to have been a bridge there in the seventh century, but it has long vanished 
without leaving a trace. — Das Echo, 13th March. 

The Proposed Railway between Burmah and Siam. — Mr. Holt Hallett, C.E., 
F.R.G.S., has arrived in London from his journey of exploration through Indo- 
China and the Shan States. Mr. Hallett has laid the results of the expedition and 
the scheme of Mr. Archibald Colquhoun's proposed railway to connect Burmah and 
Siam before the King of Siam and Lord Dufferin, pointing out the material advan- 
tages to trade which would follow the construction of the line, and the important 
political effects likely to be produced. The Siamese authorities are willing to make 
their section to our frontier, and the surplus paid by British Burmah into the 
Indian Treasury in one year would, according to the Times, suffice for the con- 
struction of the remaining section of this great work, while the expenditure would 
be most remunerative. On April 13th, Mr. Hallett delivered an address on 
" Railway Extension to South- West China and Siam," before the London Chamber 
of Commerce, at a special general meeting held in the Cannon Street Hotel, London. 
Mr. Hallett said the reasons for instituting the exploration were : — (1) The existence 
of an important field for commerce in Indo-China and the Chinese South-West 
Provinces ; (2) The desire to test the feasibility of opening out this field by means 
of a main line of railway to connect Bangkok, the capital of Siam, with the 
Siamese Shan States, and ultimately with South-West China, and the practicability 
of connecting this main line at some point with one or more of our seaports in 
British Burmah ; (3) The favourable opinions said to be entertained by Siam 
towards opening up the country by means of a railway, and its connection with 
British Burmah ; (4) To collect information about Siam and its Shan States, 
regarding which great ignorance existed, practically nothing having been learned 
since the journeys of Macleod and Richardson, on their Government missions in 


1836-37. Proceeding to portray the physical features of the country and the 
reasons which had weighed with him in the selection of the route he proposed for 
the projected railway, Mr. Hallett observed that the rivers of Indo-China in their 
upper courses resembled in their character the rivers of China. The Saluen, the 
Thoungyin, the Mainglungvi, the Meh-nam, and their branches, all passed through 
gorges at certain portions of their course, and it was to escape these gorges, 
or the necessity of crossing ranges of hills to escape them, as well as for certain 
other reasons, that they had been led to choose the railway system which they had 
submitted to the King of Siam. The great mass of the population in Siam resided on 
the banks of the deltaic branches of the Meh-nam River. No fewer than 288 villages 
were passed between Eaheng and Bangkok, and for many miles the villages and towns 
were conterminous. In the Siamese Shan States of Zimme, Lakhon, Peh, Nan, and 
Luang Prabang the population was not only distributed along the streams, but 
villages were scattered in great numbers over the plains. Missionaries who had 
resided in Zimme (Cheang-mei) for many years put the population of the Siamese 
Shan States alone at between two and three millions. The gross population of Siam, 
including the tributary Shan States, might be approximately taken at seven and a 
half million souls. One of the most remarkable features of the Shan States was 
the great size of the fertile and well-watered plains, running generally in a north and 
south direction. The Kiang Hsen plain could be traversed in a straight line for a 
twelve days' journey, and must be about 150 miles in length. Since in 1881 a frontier 
was agreed upon, passing a few miles above Kiang Hsen, north of which the Kiang 
Tung Shans might settle peaceably, and south of which the country should belong to 
the Siamese Sbans, the plain was being rapidly populated, chiefly by the descendants 
of its former inhabitants, who, by order of the King of Siam, had been allowed to 
leave their chiefs and return to the home of their ancestors. Kiang Hsen was 
situated on the Meh-khong or Cambodia River, about 190 miles from the Chinese 
frontier. This was the point at present proposed for the terminus of the main line 
of railway towards China ; the whole of the distance through which it would pass 
was in the Siamese dominions, and the branch line to connect it with British 
Burma h would only pass through Siamese and British territory. There could 
therefore be no political difficulty in the way of its construction. Mr. Hallett 
then proceeded to describe the railway scheme, and, on the conclusion of his address, 
Mr. Herbert Tritton, the chairman, moved the following resolution : — " That this 
meeting request the Council of the London Chamber of Commerce to urge upon 
Her Majesty's Government the great importance, from a mercantile point of view, 
of furthering in every way the establishment of railway communication from British 
Burmah towards the south-western frontier of China." The resolution was carried 
unanimously, and the meeting terminated. 

China. — Much light has lately been thrown on the Celestial Empire, both by tra- 
vellers and by students of the oldest Chinese literature, and doubts have been thrown 
on many long-established beliefs. Not long since it was usual to state the population 
of the Chinese Empire at a figure above 430,000,000, of which 405,000,000 were 
assumed to belong to China proper. Now some of the best authorities affirm that 
( Ihina itself has not more than 250,000,000 inhabitants, and the usual works of 
reference now do not give more than 350,000,000 for the middle kingdom, and 
372,000,000 for the empire in its widest extent. Formerly, the Chinese people 
were assumed to be a homogeneous race, though ruled over by a Mantchu tribe. 
Now, it is recognised that the country was thickly peopled by various races ere the 
Chinese came thither, that the Chinese have mixed largely with one tribe in one 
district, with another in another, and that they are, accordingly, far from being a 


pure raoe. Many of the hill peoples of China at the present day are not Chinese 
at all. M. Terrien de la Couperie identifies some of them with the Laos of 
Bufmah. The Chinese civilisation and culture is not purely of native growth ; its 
elements were brought from Western Asia — perhaps from the neighbourhood of the 
Aral — by the Chinese ere they set out for China. Professor Douglas is even dis- 
posed to admit the arguments for connecting early Chinese culture with that of 
the Akkadians of Babylonia. The Muhammadans of China may still amount to 

Formosa. — M. Rene Allain, in a paper read at a recent meeting of the French 
Geographical Society, took occasion to make some remarks on the subject of the 
period at which the Chinese first became acquainted with this island, and their 
subsequent colonisation of it. He disputed the correctness of Mr. Wells Williams' 
statement in his work The Middle Kingdom, that "Formosa was unknown to 
the Chinese prior to the year 1403 of our era, that is, at the commencement 
of the Ming dynasty." In support of his statement, M. Allain cited the testi- 
mony of Hervey de St. Denys, as also that of Rosny, and of the geographical 
scholar Ma-to-nan-lin, author of a geography a copy of which exists in the 
Bibliotheque Nationale of Paris. Shortly before the Christian era and the conquest 
of China by the Mongols, under the Han dynasty (202 B.C. to 226 a.d.), Formosa was 
already mentioned — with contempt, it was true — as the country of the Southern 
Barbarians, which Klaproth incorrectly believed to be the generic name of the 
Formosans. The Chinese first visited the island in 605 a.d., and an expedition was 
sent there in the following year, during the Sui dynasty. Ma-to-nan-lin gives to 
the island at this period the name of Liu-kiu, which explains the pamphlet 
published by the Marquis d'Hervey de St. Denys, of the Institute. At the time 
of the invasion of China by the Mongols, in the fourteenth century, several colonies 
were established in Formosa, which was still called Great Liu-kiu ; in the 
sixteenth century it was named Tai-wan (high peaks), by which it is still known 
to the Chinese. At about the middle of the seventeenth century, on the occasion 
of the Manchu invasion of China, the colonists were recalled, when a Chinese 
adventurer, known to Europeans chiefly under the name of Koxinga, took possession 
of the island on his own account in 1661, and retained it until 1683. Afterwards, 
a regular colonisation was undertaken by the Chinese from the provinces of Fo-kien 
and Quang-tung. — La Gazette Geographiipn . 

The Frequency of Earthquakes. — In the latest volume of the Transactions of 
the Seismological Society of Japan, there is a paper by Mr. John Milne, recording 
the results of an elaborate series of observations on the earthquakes that occurred 
in North Japan between October 1881 and October 1883. For about half the 
empire of Japan, in two years — the first being a year in which earthquakes were 
frequent, and the other one in which earthquakes were few — 3S7 shocks were 
registered without the aid of instruments. Had instruments been employed — to 
judge from the results obtained from the Tokio district — this number would have 
been considerably increased. For the whole of Japan, therefore, Mr. Milne thinks 
it may be safely asserted that on the average there is at least one earthquake a 
day — there may possibly be two or three. This is an estimate which some seismo- 
logists have given for the whole world, the deduction being based on earthquake 
calendars published annually in Europe. "If the records contained in these 
calendars," says Mr. Milne, " are as imperfect for other parts of the world as 
they are for Japan, we might conclude that in the world generally there are at 
least twenty earthquakes per day, or perhaps fifty." Other results obtained by 
Mr. Milne go in a striking manner to support certain previously observed 


laws of seismic action. For instance, he finds that 84 per cent, of the North 
Japan earthquakes originated beneath the ocean, or on the seaboard ; that 
earthquakes in summer were in the proportion of 278 to 109, and the winter 
intensity was nearly three and a half times as great as the summer intensity ; that 
there is a close general coincidence between the maximum of earthquakes and the 
minimum of temperatures, the sinuses of the temperature curves, however, being 
usually a little in advance of the crests of earthquake waves. These and other facts 
are illustrated in the Transactions by numerous diagrams and figures, and 123 maps. 

Mount Fujiyama. — T. C. Mendenhall (Columbus, Ohio) has determined the 
value of gravity upon the summit of Fujiyama in Japan, using a Raters pendulum, 
from which one of the knife-edges, the " tail pieces," and all the unnecessary parts 
were removed, and an adjustable slide-piece fixed on the piece projecting above the 
knife-edge. A Negus break-circuit chronometer, a chronograph, and a portable 
transit instrument were also used. After the necessary corrections, the value of 
gravity on the summit of the mountain was found to be 9'7886. In Tokio it had 
been previously determined as 9"79S4. From these values, taken in connection 
with certain data concerning the mountain, Mendenhall has sought to calculate the 
mean density of the earth. The result obtained, assuming the density of the 
mountain to be 212, gives 5'77 for the earth's density. As this is slightly above 
Baily's value, 5"67, the author reverses his calculation, and assuming this value, he 
calculates the density of the mountain, and finds it to be only 2f>8 ; thus suggesting 
a deficiency in its attraction. —Aitu r. •/<>»//•. Sci. vol. xxi. p. 99. 

The Malay Peninsula. —The most important paper read before the Paris Society 
of Commercial Geography, at its meeting on 17th March, was one by M. Delonell, 
the explorer of the northern part of the Malay Peninsula. He described his dis- 
covery of a large lake, during his survey of the isthmus of Krao, called Tabe-Sab, 
which is bordered by fertile plains, where elephants and buffaloes abound. The 
people inhabiting this region have hitherto been unknown ; they appear to be 
mestizos, half Siamese, who call themselves Samsams. 


Official Announcement. —The Berlin Official Gazette publishes the following 
statement : — " The German and British Governments have agreed to submit to a 
mixed Commission, to assemble at Cape Town, the claims to private property and 
usufructuary rights which British subjects maintain they have acquired in the 
territory now under German protection between the mouth of the Orange River and 
Cape Frio, exclusive of Walfisch Bay, and the analogous claims of German subjects 
with respect to Walfisch Bay and the islands adjacent to Angra Pequena, British 
territory. The German member of the < 'ommission will be Herr Bieber the 
Imperial Consul-General." 

French Administration in Algeria.— Consul-General Playfair's report on the 
commerce and agriculture of Algeria for the year 1884 contains, as usual, many 
items of geographical as well as of general interest. It opens ill-omenedly with the 
announcement that during the year Algeria had suffered " from troubles of various 
kinds — cholera, quarantine, commercial depression, and a harvest below the average." 
The colony had shared in the misfortunes arising from the embarrassed condition of 
the French budget, and found it necessary not only to reduce expenditure, but to 
raise at least eight million francs of increased revenue, and with this object an effort 
had been made to assimilate the customs duties to the protective tariff of France. 
As to the effect of this measure, the Governor-General, in his address to the Con.<< il- 


Giniral, remarks, " foreign commerce alone will suffer, and it is not to it that our 
solicitude is due." Much attention is being given to projects of colonisation. 
" Everything foreign," says Colonel Playfair, " is in disfavour with the present 
administration ; it is greatly concerned at the idea that the French element in the 
European population only exceeds the numbers of foreigners, and as there is little 
hope of the former being increased to any appreciable extent by immigration, every 
effort is being made to induce the latter to accept French naturalisation." This 
privilege, however, is not one highly esteemed by the Maltese, who form the bulk 
of the British subjects. They are devotedly attached to their own island, and not 
by any means anxious for military service in France, from which their Britisli 
nationality exempts them. Gigantic irrigation works are being carried out, but the 
British Consul-General doubts whether the returns will ever compensate the cost. 
As to the political changes in progress, on the 1st of January 1885 nearly the whole 
of the remaining territory of Algeria came under the regime of civil law — a popula- 
tion of 90,000 ceased to be administered by the time-honoured Bureau Arabi, French 
officials being substituted for the great native chiefs. In the south of Oran, however, 
this is still impracticable, the construction of a railway to Machnia and Ain 
Sefra, through an immense region of desert and almost uninhabitable country, having 
had little influence beyond its immediate vicinity. The Government are endea- 
vouring to tempt the important Saharan tribe, like the Waled Sidi Chirk, who had 
been in open rebellion for more than 20 years, to settle quietly down on Algerian 
territory. About 3600 tents have lately entered from Morocco, and these, it is 
hoped, may become the nucleus of a peaceful and pastoral people. Artesian wells 
and water-works are being everywhere extended in the extreme south, and com- 
munication along the desert routes thus rendered comparatively easy. The 
geological survey of Algeria, long suspended, has been resumed, and it is hoped that 
a new and revised edition of the map will be ready in 1887. One, on an exceptionally 
large scale, of the environs of Algiers is in course of execution, based on the map 
prepared by the Military Engineer, on the scale of 1 : 20,000. 

Expedition to the Upper Congo. — A Committee of the Geographical Society of 
Vienna has been appointed to carry out the business arrangements of Professor 
Lenz's proposed expedition to Central Africa. It is reckoned that 25,000 florins 
will be wanted for the expedition. At first, it was thought that Dr. Oscar Lenz 
might go out as the representative of the united Geographical Societies of Vienna, 
Berlin, and Munich ; but the Society of Berlin has decided to send out an explorer 
of its own, Dr. Fischer, who will start next month. Dr. Fischer will go for the same 
purpose as Dr. Lenz — that is, to explore the watershed of the Upper Congo, and to 
find traces of the four missing Europeans, Eruin Bey, Dr. Junker, Captain Cassati, 
and Mr. Lupton ; but instead of starting from the West Coast, as Dr. Lenz proposes 
to do, he will proceed from the East Coast, going from Zanzibar to Uganda. Dr. 
Lenz will leave Vienna in May. 

The Exploration of the Kasai. — It is beyond doubt that the Kasa'i is the most 
considerable of the great tributaries of the Congo. It has its sources in about 12° 
of S. lat., not far from the sources of the Kuanza, the Kuango, and the Leeba, 
an affluent of the Zambesi. The upper part of its course is already known, thanks 
to the explorations of Livingstone, Magyar, Buchner, Schutt, Wissman, and Dr. 
Pogge. The last-named explorer has touched the most northern point of its course, 
near 5° of S. latitude, at the confluence of the Lulua, one of the great affluents on 
the right. With respect to the lower part of the river, it has all to be explored : 
we do not even know under what name or at what particular point it enters the 
Congo. At the time of his first journey in 1877, Stanley thought it might be 


identified with the Ikelemba, which flows into the Congo a little north of the 
equator. Afterwards, however, he gave preference to the Lulemgu, which 
debouches more to the north. Lieutenant Van Gele inclines to think it the Ruki, 
another great affluent which joins the river at the distance of some kilometres from 
the station at the equator. If one or the other of these theories is verified, as 
is likely, the Kasai would have a total length of about 1200 miles. ' A 
letter lately received in Brussels announces that the expedition of Lieutenant 
Wissinan, in the service of the International Association of the Congo, had arrived 
in safety at Molemba, on the Chikapa, on the 12th of October last, and that the 
expedition was expected to reach the Kasai five days afterwards. Lieutenant 
Wissman left Europe in November 1883, followed the month after by his colleagues, 
the two Lieutenants Meyer and Dr. Wolff. The object of his expedition was the 
exploration of the lower course of the Kasai, and the unknown territory which the 
river traverses. In the following February, the members of the expedition met at 
Malange, a small Portuguese station on the Upper Kuanza, not far from the colony 
of Angola. Here the elder of the Meyers, shortly after his arrival, died from 
dysentery. Just then Dr. Pogge arrived at Malange, on his return from his great 
journey across the kingdom of the Muata-Yamvo. On his way back he had made 
an excursion to where the Lulua falls into the Kasai, and in his report he saj's, 
" The whole way is composed of almost impenetrable virgin forests. I have also 
learned that, for a great distance down, the banks of the Kasai are fringed with similar 
forests of great density." The unexpected return of the caravan of Dr. Pogge was veiy 
opportune, as it enabled Lieutenant "Wissman to organise his own under favourable 
conditions, because each carrier returned with a small fortune in gum and ivory. 
Without delay they were all re-engaged, and, what Mas more important, the two 
interpreters on the previous journey decided to take service again. The expedition 
was organised in the beginning of July 1884. Four hundred carriers were engaged, 
and carpenters and mechanics completed the staff of white men, among them being 
the carpenter Busihlah, who, in 1880, descended the Kuango with Major Mechow. 
The expedition carried a canoe made of steel, capable of holding from ten to twelve 
men. The departure from Malange took place on the 17th July. From Kuango 
to Kasai, the route followed by Lieutenant Wissman was very much the same as 
taken in their return journeys by Buchner, Schutt, and Pogge. He went by 
Kabembo and Kabocco on the river Luchiko. Arrived there, Lieutenant Meyer 
with a dozen men descended the river in the direction of Kumbana, and the rest 
of the expedition, instead of proceeding towards Kaungula, in the east, took a 
north-easterly course, striking the old route at Muene-Tombe, on the river 
Chikapa. It is from this spot that Lieutenant Wissman writes, under date the 
12th October. On his arrival at the Kasai, Lieutenant Wissman will follow the 
course of the river to its confluence with the Lulua, where he will establish a base 
of operations. He will effect a treaty with Lukengo, king of the Bakuba, erect a 
station on the banks of the river, which he will leave under the protection of three 
white men and a certain number of soldiers, and, by means of a small flotilla of 
canoes, which will be constructed by the carpenters of the expedition, he will 
follow the whole course of the Kasai to its confluence with the Congo. Lieutenant 
Wissman writes that he expects to reach that point towards the beginning of April. 
— Le Mouvemcnt Geograjyhique, April 5. 

The Stevenson Road between Lakes Nyassa and Tanganyika. — This road of 220 
miles was begun by the late James Stewai-t, C.E., the devoted missionary and 
scientist, who fell a victim to the fever of the lower lands, and lies under a baobab 
tree, not far from the head of Lake Nyassa. He was succeeded by Mr. W. 0. 

VOL. I. N 


M'Ewan, C.E., another zealous Scotsman, to whom the Royal Geographical Society 
awarded the Cuthbert Peek grant for 1884, "in testimony of the zeal and ability 
he has shown in qualifying himself, under the Society's instructor, as a geographer 
and astronomical observer." From letters written at the end of 1884, from the 
plateau between the lakes, at the Free Church of Scotland's furthest mission station 
of Mwiniwanda's, we make this extract : — " This has been a bad year on the Shire, 
and my great curiosity is to know how all these circumstances affect the minds of 
the folks at home. A lot of property has been lost in the war, and 'the road ' has 
come in for its share of trouble. . . . From the beginning to the end of the season 
the Atonga have worked and behaved splendidly, and we will give them a good 
character. Before paying the men, we asked for volunteers to go with us to Tan- 
ganyika next month, and we were much surprised and more delighted when the 
whole nineteen gave in their names, most of them good solid men. The workers 
were divided into certain messes, according to the villages from which they came, 
and we had a representative for nearly every mess. All the Man-ganja (from 
Livingstonia and the river Shire) are going with us, so you see we are on very good 
terms with our men. Our experiment of bringing up the Atonga, and thus making 
ourselves independent of local labour, is, I think, a success. We have constructed 
over 16 miles of road, through ground heavier than the average, in eleven 
weeks, at a total expenditure (including wages, food, steamer passages, etc.), of 
under ,£70, exclusive, of course, of all expenses in connection with white labour. 
Besides that, we have maintained and repaired four miles, at a cost of £5. Our 
plans for the season's work will depend much on the result of the Tanganyika 

News of Serpa Pinto. — The Portuguese Minister of Marine has received two 
telegrams from this enterprising traveller. In the first he states that he has 
arrived at Ibo, without any loss of his men, after having traversed more than 240 
miles of very difficult country, in which he has accomplished important work, and that 
he would forward his report and maps by the next mail ; in the second despatch he 
announced his departure on 10th March with 350 porters for Lake Nyassa. — La 
Gazette Gcographique, 19th March. 

Cameroons. — With reference to the ascent of Great Cameroon by Dr. Zbller, 
described in the Scottish Geographical Magazine, in which the latter stated that he 
had not discovered the solfatara mentioned by Burton, the Athenosum publishes the 
following letter from Captain Burton : — "As regards the soufriere, I carefully de- 
scribed it in my volume (p. 206), and forwarded a canister full of the burning sand 
and sulphur to the Geological Museum, Jermyn Street. For the evidences of recent 
volcanic activity, see page 208. On May 22, 1867, Mr. Frank Wilson, who is now in 
London, wrote to me : — ' You will be interested to hear that on the 15th of May, 
and three following nights, Cameroons was observed to be in eruption. A stream of 
lava was distinctly seen running down for a considerable distance from a point 
somewhere lower than the peak on the Fernando Po side. Flames issued from the 
same source as the lava, and appeared as if shot out horizontally, " like the flame 
from a blowpipe," as one of the Spanish officers described it to me.' It would seem 
that these last visitors belong to Gibbon's extensive family of ' blind travellers ;' 
they certainly contrast sharply with their only too wide-awake countrymen." 

New Port in Liberia. — In consequence of a decision of the Legislature, the 
President of Liberia has ordered the creation of a new port situated to the south- 
west of the river Cavally, in the county of Maryland, which will be open to inland 
and foreign commerce, subject to the laws and regulations which govern the other 
ports of the republic. — La Gazette Geographique, 19th March. 



Prehistoric Researches in Indiana. — Material of high interest to the geographer 
as well as the palaeontologist and archaeologist will be found in the State Eeport on 
the Geology and Natural History of Indiana for the year 1834, as a few gleanings 
from it will abundantly show. In the report on the Topographical Survey of 
Hamilton County, an account is given of the early settlement of this part of the 
State, originally the home and headquarters of the Delaware tribe of Indians, and 
also of a race of an antiquity which goes much higher than the days of the Dela- 
wares — the " the mound-builders," who have left numerous traces of their arts and 
dwellings in the vicinity of the anomalous mound and circular embankment at 
Strawtown. It is remarked that " it is possible that the circle dates back to the 
period of the mound-builders, and that the Delawares took advantage of it to build 
their stockade on, and made a ditch to strengthen their palisades." The ditch has 
been filled, and the embankment reduced much by recent cultivation. In the ad- 
joining Madison County is a spot with a piece of history attached to it of more than 
local interest — Pendleton, where, in 1824, the sentence of the first regularly con- 
stituted court of these parts was carried out on three white men who were guilty of 
an atrocious massacre of peaceable Seneca Indians. " So far as my reading informs 
me," says Dr. R. T. Brown, the author of the Survey, " it is the only instance since 
the formation of the United States Government where white men were hanged for 
killing Indians." Madison County also contains remarkable relics of the Stone Age, 
perhaps the best-preserved works of the mound-builders in the United States being 
found here. That the extensive remains at " Old Fort," and elsewhere, belonged to 
a race which used no metal tools is "inferred from the numerous stone implements 
collected in the vicinity, and the absence of anything metallic, even copper orna- 
ments." In spite of the investigations that have been carried out, the object and 
purpose, as well as the age, of these singular clay banks and mounds continue to be 
problems almost as insoluble as ever, though there are indications that "suggest 
the idea of sacrifice, and tend to confirm the suspicion of a religious use. Whatever 
may have been their use," continues Dr. Brown, " these works were not constructed 
by sparsely scattered savages who lived by the chase, nor by nomadic tribes that 
lived a pastoral life. The country must have been densely populated by a race 
inured to labour and skilled in the art of design." On behalf of Science, he makes 
an earnest appeal to the public to secure these memorials of a forgotten past from 
the destruction which may come on them any day while they remain the property 
of private individuals. A letter from Mr. John P. Reasoner describes a partial 
examination which he made in November 1884 of the " University Cave," in the 
lower carboniferous limestone at Greencastle, Putnam County, the earth-covered 
floor of which it is proposed to search for the remains of extinct and recent verte- 
brate animals and relics of man. Referring to the Wyandotte Cave, in Crawford 
County, Indiana, which he says is more extensive and beautiful than the more 
familiarly-known " Mammoth Cave " of Kentucky, Mr. Collette remarks : — " The 
Wyandotte is estimated by recent explorers to contain 53 miles of travel, going and 
returning. The magnitude of its rooms, with their step-like ' domes,' has no counter- 
parts in the rooms of other caves. The gorgeous calcic decorations of its halls and 
galleries, for brilliancy and effective imagery, are unequalled by the grottoes of the 
fabled genii. Had America been inhabited by a race of Troglodytes, they could 
have formed houses in the cavernous limestone of Indiana, and become a populous 
race, but, like the Amblyopsis and other denizens of the caves, become non-seeing." 
Admirable papers on the glacial drift deposits and the postpliocene vertebrate 
remains in the State are furnished by Dr. J. S. Newberry, and Professors E. D. 


Cope and J. L. Wortman. From the materials of their research, Messrs. Cope and 
Wortman attempt an imaginative reconstruction of a landscape on the banks of the 
Ohio, "in the misty twilight of long ago," with a grouping of the more prominent 
animals :- -■" Huge mammoths and mastodons would have been seen loitering near the 
water's edge, or lazily browsing on the neighbouring trees ; herds of horses, giant 
bisons, and elk grazing upon the adjoining hills, while numerous smaller species of 
ruminants would be seen in their appropriate places ; the tapir, peccary, and 
peccary-like platygonus would have been found in the dense growths of the swamps 
and marshes ; the mighty sloths and castoroides would also contribute to the 
scene ; while, lurking in the background, the stealthy lion and wary wolf ready to 
pounce upon their victims. Whether this scene was ever beheld by human eyes is 
a matter which yet lives in the shadows of uncertainty, but it is possible that man 
was there in all the nakedness of his primitive barbarity." 

" Cicero Creek," Indiana.— Here is a curious " place-name " note on Cicero Creek, 
which drains 150 square miles of the north-western part of Hamilton county, 
Indiana, contained in the Geological and Topographical Survey of the district for 
1884, by Mr. Rylant T. Brown : — " The naming of the smaller streams was the duty 
of the surveyor of public lands. In the year 1820, Dr. William B. Laughlin was 
employed in the lineal survey of Township 19, Range 4, the lines of which frequently 
crossed the creek. Now, Dr. Laughlin was an educated Scotsman — a literary and 
medical graduate of Edinburgh University, and almost insanely fond of the classics ; 
but, like many other scholars, he was not a notable success in his profession, and 
was now in the employ of the Government as a surveyor. His eldest son, whose 
name was Cicero, was attached to his company of surveyors. A heavy rain had 
swollen the streams, and made it difficult to cross them. The backwoods expedient 
for making a foot-bridge, by felling a tree across the creek, was resorted to, and 
Cicero Laughlin, in crossing, missed his footing, and fell in. He was with difficulty 
rescued in a nearly-drowned condition. From this incident Dr. Laughlin called the 
stream Cicero's Creek ; but in process of time the sign of the possessive, or, as the 
Doctor would have said, the genitive, was dropped, and the stream is now known 
as Cicero Creek." 

Key West. — A Special Correspondent, W. R. L., has been contributing a series of 
very interesting letters to The Courant, descriptive of vai'ious places in the United 
States. From the letter printed April 24th we extract the following : — " Key West 
is a quaint, dirty, dusty, but withal flourishing little town. It has given up wreck- 
ing and lives on cigars, of which it has no fewer than eighty factories. They 
employ four or five thousand hands, nearly all Cubans. It was the American tariff' 
which brought them over. While the raw tobacco has to pay only 50 per cent, 
duty on its value, the manufactured article is taxed about 100 per cent, on cost of 
production. The Cuban manufacturers saw their opportunity, and migrated to 
Key West, the nearest point of American territory. There they import the tobacco 
leaf and convert it into cigars, the reputation of which has grown rapidly of late 
years. Key West brands are now running the real Havanas very close, not only in 
the North, but in Europe. The New York makers have found it necessary for the 
protection of their trade to open branch establishments here, where they have the 
advantage of superior labour, and also of a Key West brand. But if the pending 
treaty of commerce with Cuba should be confirmed by the American Senate, it 
will strike a hard blow at Key West, as the discriminating duty in favour of raw 
tobacco will be abolished, and the Cuban makers hope to recover their lost 
superiority. But Key West is one of the sensible towns which do not rush to meet 
trouble half-way. It grows and prospers, and ' sufficient to the day is the evil 


thereof.' Should the Cuban treaty pass, Key West will have to put on a little more 
steam, or to cut a small slice oft' its ample profits. Cigar-making affords a broad 
margin for contingencies. The most expert workman can earn from thirty to fifty 
dollars a week, and his children from four to five dollars a week, as soon as they are 
fit to go into the factories. They have various aristocratic peculiarities, one of them 
being that they do no work after dinner. They start early in the morning, but at 
the stroke of 4 p.m. every cigai factory is emptied." 

Argentine Expedition up the Pilcomayo. — At a meeting of the Geographical 
Society of Paris on March 2o, a letter was read from the French ( lonsnl at Asuncion, 
in Paraguay, giving details of the expedition sent by the Argentine Government to 
explore the Pilcomayo, and to ascend to the Bolivian frontier, if possible. It has 
been found that, owing to impassable rapids, the river cannot be utilised as a route 
between Paraguay and Bolivia. The only practicable route is that by land — the 
possibility of which was recognised in 1883 by M. Thouar's expedition. 

Tierra del Fuego. — The members of a scientific expedition to Cape Horn from 
the French Geographical Society were so deeply impressed with the good work done, 
in reclaiming Tierra del Fuego from barbarism, by the English Protestant Mission, 
that on leaving the island they handed over to the latter the large range of huts 
which they had erected for their lodgings, and their meteorological and magnetic 
observations. This was done with the cordial consent of the French Government. 

Winnipeg. — The word has undergone many changes in the spelling. I give the 
word as printed in works from 1734 to 1833, since which last-named date there has 
been no change. Ouinipigon, Verendrye, 1734 : Ouinipidue, Dobbs, 174:2 ; Vnipig- 
non, Galissoniere, 1750 ; Ouinipeg, Bougainville, 1757 ; Ouinipigon, Jeffreys, 
1760 ; Ouinipique, French map, 1770 ; Winnepeck, Carver, 1708 ; Winnepegon, 
Henry, 1775; Winipic, Mackenzie, 1789; Winipick, Harmon, L800 ; Winipic 
Pike. 1805 ; "Winipic, Lord Selkirk, Winepic, Rosa Cox, 1817 ; Winnipic, School- 
craft, 1820 ; "Winnepeek, Keating, 1823 ; Winipeg, Beltrami, 1823 ; AVinnipeg, 
Capt. Back, 1833. The name is derived from the Cree words Win, dirty, and 
X •, water. — C. N. Bell, Canadian Gazette. 


New Hebrides. — The Rev. J. G. Paton has received letters direct from the New 
Hebrides informing him that France appears to have practically annexed the 
group. The commander of a French man-of-war, by the order of the Governor of 
New Caledonia, called on and commanded our British missionaries working on the 
group not to write to Australia or Britain again pleading for British annexation. 
The French flag has been hoisted and is kept flying on many points in the centre 
of the group. Our New Hebrideans have sent twelve petitions — the last on 
behalf of eighty-six chiefs — pleading for British annexation. 


Emigration and Immigration. — A Parliamentary 7 paper has been published deal- 
ing with emigration from and immigration into the United Kingdom during 1884. 
The paper consists, firstly, of a general report on the whole subject, by Mr. R. 
Giffen, the Assistant- Secretary of the Board of Trade ; and, secondly, of the usual 
tables, which show in detail the number, age, sex, nationality, and occupation of the 
emigrants, the ports for which they started, the amount of remittances sent from the 
other side of the Atlantic to their friends at home, and other matters. The 
main fact, which Mr. Girl'en dwells upon in his report, is the great decline in emi- 


gration which took place in 1884. There is a general and large decline, and this 
has been accompanied by an increase in immigration. The total number of emi- 
grants for the last four years will prove this. In 1881 the total number of 
emigrants of all nationalities from the United Kingdom was 392,514 ; in 1882, 
which showed a larger total than any year before or since, the number was 413,288 ; 
in 1883, it was 397,157 ; and in 1884 it fell to 303,901. This is a decline of nearly 
twenty-four per cent. This decline in the total number of emigrants is emphasized 
by the increase of immigrants, which rose from 100,503 in 1883 to 123,466 last year. 
Thus, while the excess of emigrants over immigrants was 180,435 in 1884, it was 
296,654 in 1883, and 330,484 in 1882. Indeed, last year shows a smaller excess 
than any since 1879. Several interesting facts relative to these 303,901 emigrants 
may be gleaned by examining the various tables. Thus, 203,519 of them went to 
the United States, 45,944 to Australasia, 37,040 to British North America, 4699 to 
the Cape of Good Hope, and 12,696 to other places. If we regard the sex of the 
emigrants, we find that there were 181,555 males to 122,346 females. This is very 
nearly sixty per cent, of males. That emigrants from this country are fairly pro- 
sperous in their new homes may be inferred from the fact that from 1848 to 1884 it 
has been ascertained that no less a sum than £29,776,977 was remitted by them 
from the other side of the Atlantic to their friends at home. This does not include 
sums sent from Australasia and other places ; and, of course, large sums must have 
been sent without official knowledge. In 70 years — from 1815 to 1884 — the total 
number of persons who have left this country for the purpose of settling abroad is 
10,748,893, though the conclusion can hardly be called trustworthy, as in the earlier 
years the science of statistics was in its infancy, and no such elaborate calculations 
were made as those whereby Mr. Giffen at once instructs and delights his readers 
every year. 

A New Gaudeamus. — The Kreuzzeitung paper published, in honour of Prince 
Bismarck's seventieth birthday, a new and spirited version of the well-known 
dog- Latin student's song Gaudeamus. The praises of the Cancellarius having been 
sung, the new colonial policy is touched on, and, invoking blessings on the 
Chancellor's views in this respect, the chant proceeds to names and "things 
unattempted yet in Latin rhyme," and with a piquant geographical flavour : — 

Prosperent Imperii 

Nunc intratae viae ; 
Valeat tellus amoena, 
Camerun, Angra-Pequena ; 

Vivant Coloniae ! 


Forschungen swr Dcutschen Landes- unci Volkskunde, etc. Herausgegeben von Dr. 
Richard Lehmaxx, 1, 2 : Die Oberrheinische Tiefebene und ihre Randgebirge 
von Dr. G. R. Lepsius. Stuttgart : J. Engelhorn, 1885. Pp. 92, and Map. 

On the occasion of the " Geographentag " at Halle in 1882, a Commission was 
appointed to prepare a " Wissenschaftliche Landeskunde von Deutschland." It was 
stated, at the time, that in Germany foreign and distant parts of the globe were 
better known than the Fatherland, but that it was both a scientific and national 
duty to pay greater attention to one's own country, and especially to one's immediate 
surroundings. Many papers and essays were written, it was true, but they were 


shelved among the innumerable publications of different societies, and thus lost 
to the majority of readers. The chief task of the Commission was to collect 
these papers, and those interested in promoting the aims of the Commission were 
invited to send in the titles of any which answered the purpose, but more especially 
those written daring the present century. Their sphere of work was not limited to 
Germany alone, but embraced those countries in which German was the national 
language, or so generally spoken as to have a place in their literatures. In a com- 
paratively short time, sub-committees , were formed in various parts of Germany, 
which assisted the Commission in compiling a bibliography ; and, shortly after- 
wards, the publication of scientific monographs was undertaken. Forschungen zur 
Deutschen Landes- und VoUcskunde, etc., is one of them, and it is also proposed to 
publish Kleine Einzdforschungen zur DeuUehen Landeskunde. It may not be 
uninteresting to give a few particulars in regard to these monographs. They will 
have reference both to the geography and ethnography of the country. It is 
intended to publish essays on the structure and formation of the soil ; the fossil 
treasures, and how to obtain them ; on climate and hydrography, plants and animals ; 
on all anthropological and ethnographical questions ; on surveys, cartography, and 
the history of geography— in short, on all subjects which in Germany are considered 
to come within the province of geography. Such a vast undertaking may raise fears 
of a mere chaotic collection of essays, but the Commission promise due regard to 
proportion and connection in the material thus gathered. To instance an example 
— we quote from their programme — the geological structure of a landscape will not 
be treated without explaining at the same time the configuration of the relief and 
the composition of the soil, and without, at least, hinting at the consequences 
resulting from these two component parts in as far as they affect the organic world 
in the district under discussion, especially in regard to sociology. In like manner, 
essays on nationality, and the distribution and migration of the peoples, will have 
for their object the discovery of the intrinsic connection between these subjects and 
the nature of the country, as well as of ethnography and history. Though written 
by different hands, and therefore from different standpoints, these essays will form 
parts in the final structure raised by scientific investigation, a monument of the 
Dative country and of the individual character of its inhabitants. From this it may 
be inferred that the papers will not be such as are only interesting to specialists, 
but will appeal to a far wider circle of readers, though, at the same time, all 
references to authorities will be given for the benefit of those who desire to institute 
a closer inquiry. This programme is admirable in regard to its comprehensiveness, 
but for this very reason, if for no other, it is very questionable whether it can 
be fully realised. It would, however, be difficult to judge of the work as a whole 
from the single specimen under review, and we therefore reserve our criticism until 
others appear. 

Report on the Egyptian Provinces of the Sudan, Red Sea, and Equator. Compiled 
in the Intelligence Branch, Quartermaster-General's Department, Horse Guards, 
War Office. Revised up to July 1884. London : W. Clowes & Sons, and 
other Booksellers, 1884. Pp. 275. Map. Price 3s. 6d. 

This valuable report, owing to its official source, is a welcome addition to the 
mass of literature now being published on the subject. In arrangement, there 
is, of necessity, some little repetition of the matter, but the form chosen is 
perhaps the best. It commences with an historical sketch of the events in the 
Sudan, omitting, for high politic reasons, the enumeration of recent events. As 
stated in the introductory remarks, the geographical, geological, and topogra- 

20(1 NEW BOOKS. 

phical characteristics have been treated in Chapter n. with special refeience 
to tribal distinctions, general resources, food and water-supply, products, and 
climatic considerations. Chapter in. is a report on towns, only those of primary 
importance being included. Chapter iv. deals with the navigability and general 
adaptability as a waterway of the Nile, with its tributaries. Statistical and 
general information follows ; and, finally, in considering the question of com- 
munications, Khartum is regarded as the objective, and the various routes from 
Lower Egypt and the Red Sea are grouped under four different heads. The map 
(scale, 1 : 2,253,080 or 35'56 miles to 1 inch) represents the Egyptian Sudan. 

Reiseeindriicke und Skizzen aus Russland. Von Th. vox Bayer. Mit 6 Illustra- 
tionen und 2 Karten, 1885. Stuttgart : J. G. Cotta. 8 Marks. 

As this work is dedicated to the " Kdnigen Mutter, Marie von Bayern, in dank- 
barer Liebe und Verehrung," the public will not be surprised to learn that its author 
is a Princess of Bavaria. Though it cannot be compared to the volumes on the 
same subject by Leroy Beaulieu and Mackenzie Wallace, the book possesses very 
considerable merit and deserves attention. The author, who seems scarcely to have 
digested the works from which she makes such numerous quotations, nevertheless 
gives us in a series of essays some very pleasing and interesting matter, which 
is not devoid of scientific value. It certainly is the best of recent German publica- 
tions on the same subject, and is far superior to the ordinary geographical works 
so largely advertised. 

On the Track of the Crescent. By Major E. C. Johxsox, M.A.I., etc. 
Hurst & Blackett, 1885. With Map and Illustrations. 

After visiting Athens and Constantinople, the author travelled from Varna 
through Boumania to Pesth, and thence into Transylvania. Except in the last 
part of the journey, he does not leave the railway or Danube line, but he is an 
observant traveller, and the personal narrative is amusing. 

Si-yu-ki : Buddhist Records of the Western World. Translated from the (Itinese 
of Huien Thsiang (a.d. 629;. By Sami;el Beal, B.A., Professor of Chinese, 
University College, London, Rector of Wark, etc. In two volumes. London : 
Triibner & Co., 1884. 24s. 

Since 1858, when M. Stanislas Julien published his French version of the 
Si-yu-ki, Orientalists have been familiar with this work of the famous Chinese 
pilgrim, who in the year 629 a.d., at the age of thirty, set out from the province of 
Ho-nan, and, undeterred by all difficulties and hardships, made his way through 
Central Asia by Tashkand and Bamiyan to Peshawar and into India, in order to 
question the sages of the Buddhist faith on points that troubled his mind. There 
he spent about fourteen years studying the sacred Sanskrit language and learning 
from the great teachers of Buddhism. During this period he wandered over nearly 
the whole country from Kashmir and Nepal to Kanchipur, south of Madras, and 
from Asam and the Brahmaputra to Gujarat and the Indus. In his Records he 
gives an account of 138 provinces or states into which the country was divided, of 
which he visited all except about twenty, with descriptions of them and of all the 
localities particularly sacred in Buddhist legend. On his return from India, in 645 
a.d., he crossed the Pamir and through Kashgar and Khotan, bearing with him 
sacred relics, images, and a great collection of books carried on twenty-two horses. 
The remaining nineteen years of his life were spent in the translation of his literary 
acquisitions, of which no less than seventy-five are still included in the great 
Chinese collection. 


The Si-yu-hi is a work of special interest : to the student of the Buddhist 
religion it is of immense importance, illustrating, as no other known book does, the 
condition of that religion in India in the seventh century ; but to the geographer and 
historian it is of quite equal value, from the data it affords for the map of India and 
the chronology of its dynasties and its literature at the same epoch, and it has given 
rise to not a few elaborate treatises devoted to the illustration of his itinerary. The 
translator — an accomplished Chinese scholar — has conferred a boon on the English 
reading public at home and abroad by his fresh rendering of this work direct from 
the original, and by the abundant commentary he has added in the shape of foot- 
notes — phdological, historical, geographical, etc., etc., many of them bristling with 
references to all that has been written on the points under notice. 

To this version Mr. Beal has also affixed a new translation of the Fo-kwb-ki, or 
travels of Fa-hian, who in the beginning of the fifth century had made a similar 
pilgrimage to India, and of the mission of Sung-Yun, who was sent in 518 A.D. by 
the Empress of the Northern Wei, and went as far as Peshawar. The narratives 
of both these earlier travellers are short, occupying, with a few brief footnotes, only 
86 pages of the Introduction. A sketch map, unfortunately on rather a small 
scale, illustrates the geography, and an Index of 43 pages in double columns, by 
Dr. J. Burgess, forms an indispensable accompaniment to such a work. 

Madagascar and France, %cith, some Account of the Island, its People, its Resources, 
and Development. By George Shaw, F.Z.S., London Mission, Tamatave. 
With many Illustrations from Original Sketches, and a Map. The Religious 
Tract Society, 1885. Prir, 6ft 

To the general reader, perhaps, Madagascar is less known than any other island 
of even much less size on the globe ; yet this great island, 970 miles in length by 
300 in breadth, having an area of 225,000 square miles, with its great central plateau 
3000 to 4000 feet high crowned by mountain ridges and peaks 8000 and, in one 
instance, 8950 feet high, is well deserving attention. We have no such work in 
English as Grandidier's voluminous Histoire Physique, NatureUe, et Politique de 
Madagascar to stir up our interest in it, and therefore such small but instructive 
volumes as Mr. Sibree's Great African Island, and this of Mr. Shaw's, should have 
the readier acceptance with us. This latter is an unvarnished statement of facts 
and experiences, told rapidly, without any attempt at fine or imaginative picture- 
painting, but perhaps on that very account all the more fascinating and instructive. 
The general description of the geographical features of the island is told briefly but 
clearly, and leaves a more distinct impression on the mind than a more laboured 
attempt would perhaps have done. The civilisation and manufactures are equally 
rapidly and succinctly disposed of ; the chapter on the origin of the Malagasy is 
cautious but scientific ; that on the present civil and religious state of the people is 
most interesting, as are those on the fauna, flora, and meteorology of the island. In 
one of these the question is raised — What interest has England in Madagascar I 
By the Treaty of Paris, May 30, 1814, Madagascar was retained as a dependency of 
Mauritius by the British, and, though M. Lozier afterwards protested that it 
was not specifically named, Sir R. Farquhar, our first Governor of Mauritius, held 
by it, and finally, in October 1817, all our possessions or claims upon it were handed 
over to Radama I. But Mr. Shaw answers his own question thus : — " Commercially 
Madagascar is of great importance to Englishmen. Not only is the demand for 
English iron and cotton goods, glass and crockery, becoming each year greater and 
more remunerative, but, as has been shown, the island can produce very many pro- 
ducts in great and constant demand in this country. There is in Madagascar an 
unknown wealth of mineral productions, which is but waiting the establishment of 


confidence with Europeans on the part of the native Government, so that mining 
operations might be undertaken, and a fair outlay of English capital more than fully 
repay the capitalist " (p. 209). "The English trade is about five times the value of 
that of the French, who are surpassed considerably by the Germans, although the 
latter are represented by but one or two firms ; " and " the proportion of British 
to French settled there is said to be as five to one " (p. 210). " Apart from present 
disturbances with the French, there is no reason why coffee, rice, vanilla, spice, 
sago, and fibre planting should not be carried out on a large and highly profitable 
scale ; while the vast extent of prairie and pasture land presents a tempting prospect 
for the formation of cattle ranches in a country where fat oxen can be purchased 
for three dollars and upwards, according to the district" (p. 118). The great evil 
in Madagascar has been the import from Mauritius and Bourbon of vile rum manu- 
factured from molasses and the refuse from the sugar mills, and so crude that it 
can be retailed at from 4d. to 6d. a quart at Tamatave. In the last commercial 
treaty with America our cousins have shown themselves the most noble with 
whom the Malagasy have had to deal. They stipulate that with regard to these 
alcoholic liquors the Malagasy Government " may regulate the importation according 
to its pleasure, or prohibit the importation altogether, ... or makefit a misde- 
meanour to sell or give such liquors to certain classes of its subjects." Contrast 
this with the selfish, ungenerous, rum treaty with Britain, which stipulates that 
" spirits of all kinds may be imported and sold in Madagascar by British subjects 
on payment of the same duty as that levied by the Malagasy excise laws upon 
spirits manufactured in Madagascar ;" and this again hedged and protected by pro- 
visions in favour of the British importer of what the native Government would 
give anything to keep out of their country as the baneful demoraliser of its subjects. 

Some chapters are naturally devoted to the recent French claims — too like 
those of Bussia on Afghanistan — and their pitiable results, in which the author was 
a serious sufferer. These events are told in a plain, unvarnished, straightforward 
way, worthy of a brave sensible Englishman, which enchains the reader's attention, 
and reveals the characters of such Frenchmen as MM. Baudais, Le Tembre, Raffray, 
and Admiral Pierre : one can only hope, for the honour of humanity as well as of 
Fiance, that there are few more such men in the official service of any 'nation calling 
itself civilised. It is the " utterly barbarous '' Malagasy that seem to have shown 
the only traits of true dignity, humanity, justice, and nobility in the transactions 
of 1882. 

The naturalist will find much to interest him in the descriptions of the various 
lemurs, the Aye-aye, and the notice of the enormous iEpyomis — now extinct, but 
which was probably the rukh of Marco Polo. 

Das Wissen der Gegenwart. Band, xxxvi. and xxxvii. Das Kaiserreich Brazilien. 
Von H. W. Sellin, ehmaligen Koloniedirecktor in Brasilien. Mit Illustra- 
tionen und Karten. 1885. Preis per Band, gebunden, 1 Mark. 

These volumes are a valuable addition to the geographical works being issued 
by Herren G. Freytag and F. Tempsky at Leipzig and Prague respectively, who are 
publishing a series of works dealing with all branches of science. The author, from 
his official position, has had exceptional facilities for procuring statistical informa- 
tion, and for that reason, if for no other, his work should be reliable. 

Bilder ans Brasilien. Von C. von Koseritz. Mit einem Vorvvort von A. W. 
Sellin. 19 Illustrationen. Leipzig und Berlin : W. Friedrich, 1885. Pp. 
xvi, 379. 9 Marks. 
It was not the intention of the author, it appears, to write a geographical work, 


but having been in the country for thirty-three years he has endeavoured to give a 
real picture of the land and its inhabitants, and in this he has succeeded far better 
than the ordinary run of " globe-trotters," who describe a country from their own 
individual standpoint, and are much influenced by the state of their livers. Herr 
von Koseritz is not always impartial, which may be excused and allowed for on 
account of his official position as " superintendent " of a colony and a member of the 
Government, but his descriptions are always life-like and true in the main. The 
book lacks proportion, and would gain much in value by a little systematic 
arrangement ; many important questions are interspersed between occurrences of 
daily life. 

Work and Adventure in New Guinea. By James Chalmers and W. Wyatt Gill. 
The Religious Tract Society, 1885. 

Mr. Chalmers' long acquaintance with Eastern New Guinea, his familiarity with 
the languages, and the intimate relations he has established with the natives, give 
an insight into the character of the people, and the significance of various strange 
habits and customs, such as we derive from no previous writer. The geographical 
result of his explorations is also by no means unimportant. A coast-line of some 
500 miles — i.e. from the eastern extremity of the island to the bead of the Gulf of 
Papua — was examined, and its character described, and numerous excursions made 
inland from various points. About Port Moresby, the probable future headquarters 
of our rule, the coast region is exceptionally barren. A low range of hills fringeslthe 
coast, with a plain behind, where the drainage from the interior appears to lodge, 
forming a sort of terai, which in the hot season is flooded and very unhealthy. 
Inland thence, as far as the lofty central range, extends a very broken and difficult 
hill country — the hills furthest inland being very precipitous. But there are endless 
streams, with occasional open and fertile valleys at a considerable elevation. These, 
and where practicable the hillsides, are well and carefully cultivated. Near Yule 
Island, the barrier reef, after fringing the coast for 140 miles, ceases, the greater 
number and volume of the rivers interfering with the coral-builders. Here the 
natives were found wearing ornaments brought from the north coast, and at various 
places in the peninsula it was reported that a route across the peninsula lay in this 
direction. The country here is extraordinarily fertile, and the rivers accessible to 
canoes for several days' journey inland. The people here are reported to be 
cannibals, but indeed cannibalism prevails here and there throughout the peninsula, 
though not at Port Moresby. The races are evidently much mixed, dark people 
with frizzled hair, and fair people with straight hair, being frequently found in 
juxtaposition. Thus the view commonly held that the coasts are peopled by a fair 
race with Polynesian affinities, who have driven the darker aboriginal race into the 
interior, must for the present be taken with considerable qualifications. Some 
slight corrections of the chart of the coast-line are recorded, and an important 
passage one and a half mile wide, through the barrier reef between Thursday 
Island and Port Moresby, was discovered by Captain Liljeblad, of the mission 
steamer EUangowcm. 

Mr. Wyatt Gill's addition to the volume is interesting as containing the testi- 
mony of an experienced Polynesian authority to the remarkable progress of peace 
and order, due to the influence of his fellow-workers, within the last ten years. 

The Russians at the Gates of Herat. By Charles Marvin- . 
London : Warne & Co. Price Is. 

This is a most opportune publication, produced in a handy form, and should be 
read by every Englishman who wishes to understand the exact position of the 


Russians in Central Asia at the present juncture, and how they have advanced since 
1878. The whole position is sketched with graphic power and distinctness by 
one who has made himself a recognised authority on Central Asia. The great 
geographical point that Mr. Marvin emphasises is that the supposed bar to the 
Russian advance to Herat, and consequently to Afghanistan proper — the Paro- 
pamisus range, which till quite lately was supposed by most people to be a 
mountain range 15,000 feet high— is but a ridge of hills with passes barely 900 feet 
above the surrounding locality. A coach-and-four could in fact be driven from the 
Caspian Sea to Herat, and thence to the Indo-Afghan frontier. 

The former advance of Russia by Tashkend and Samarcand towards Afghan- 
istan and India is effectively barred by the lofty range of the Hindu Khush, but 
this new advance of Russia from the Caspian via Askabad and the Persian frontier, 
which has been made feasible by the seizure of Merv and the subjugation of the 
Tekke Turkomans, presents no geographical difficulty to a Russian advance on 
Herat, nor is there any further physical barrier between Herat and the south- 
western Indo-Afghan frontier. The supposed mighty natural defence of difficult 
mountain passes garrisoned by warlike mountaineers has vanished : Russia and 
England are now face to face. 


ALPEN, Wandkarte der — . Nach dem Entwurfe und unter der Leitung des 
Vinzenz v. Haardt. 6 sheets. Scale, 1 : 600,000. Wien : Eduard Holzel. 
Price Is. 

As a physical school-wall map, this is one of the nearest approaches to perfec- 
tion we have yet seen : it gives a picture of the country at once geographically 
correct and pictorially effective. The work is beautifully executed, and evidences 
great care and taste. 

BUXTON. — Plan of Buxton and Neighbourhood, by John Bartholomew, 
F.R.G.S. Scale, 6 inches to a mile. London : W. H. Smith & Son. Price, 
mounted in case, Is. 

BUXTON AND MATLOCK, Environs of—. By John Bartholomew, F.R.G.S. 
Scale, 1 inch a mile. London : W. H. Smith & Son. Price, mounted in case, Is. 

The above two maps are most valuable additions to Messrs. Smith & Sons' 
Tourist's series ; they show all the information given on the Ordnance Survey, with 
the additional advantage of being more clearly engraved, and coloured to give pro- 
minence to the special wants of the tourist. 

EDINBURGH. — Plan of the City, coloured to show New Parliamentary Divisions 
and Municipal Wards according to the Boundary Commissioners' Report, 1885. 
Scale, 6 inches to a mile. Edinburgh : John Bartholomew. Price, in case, 3s. 

NORWAY. — Jernbanekart over Norge af N. S. Krum. Scale, 20 miles to an 
inch. Kristiania : N. S. Kmm's Forlag. Price, 25 Ore. 

An interesting feature in this map are the sections along the roads, showing the 

NEW MAI'S. 205 

OUTER HEBRIDES, Lewi- and Harris.— By Johx Bartholomew, F.R.G.S. 
Scale, 2 miles to an inch. Edinburgh: Adam <£• Charles Blade. Price, in case, 
2s. 6d. 

This is another sheet of Messn. A. & C. Black's Reduced Ordnance Map of 
Scotland, and ought to be welcomed by tourists to the Western Isles. It is 
coloured to show the parishes. 

SCOTLAND, Orographies] Map of — . By John Bartholomew, F.R.<, 3., 
-bowing elevation and physical relief of land by contours of altitude, and gradu- 
ated tints. Scale, 10 miles to an inch. Edinburgh : Adam & Charles Bled-. 
Price, in case, 2s. 6d. 

This is really the first reliable physical map of Scotland published. It shows 
most effectively by colours the minute contour work of the whole Ordnance Survey 
of Scotland reduced into one sheet, giving pictorially a much more correct idea of 
the elevation of the country than can be shown by hill-shading. The map will no 
doubt prove most valuable, and interesting for scientific and general uses. 


AFGHANISTAN, Bartholomew's War Map of — . With large general Map, 
showing the connection between England, Russia, and India. Edinburgh : John 
and Co. Price 6d. 

AFGHANISTAN. — Bird's-Eye Map of Afghanistan and surrounding countries. 
Edinburgh : W. & A. K. Johnston. Pricels. 

AFGHANISTAN, Special Map of—. With inset maps of Europe, Asia, South- 
western Asia, and India. Edinburgh : T. Ruddiman Johnston. Price Is. 

FORMOSE, Carte du Nord de. — D'apres les travaux les plus recentes et les 
reconnaissances des Officiers du Corps Expeditionnair francais. Paris: Socictc de 
Geographic, Bulletin No. 4. 

PERSIEN, Ubersichtskarte der Yerkehrs-verhaltnisse von. Scale, 1 : 7,500,000. 
Petermann's MitU ttungt n, Ergiinzungsheft, No. 77. Gotha : Justus Perthes. 

This map illustrates the special supplement to Petermann's Mitteilungen, on 
Persian Trade, which is specially noticed in a preceding part of this number. 

PHILIPPINE ISLANDS. — Topographische Skizze des Bezirks Escalante auf Isla de 
Negros, aufgenommen von Dox E. de Elmoxte. Scala, 1 : 500,000. Petermann's 
Mitteilungen, Jahrgang 1885, Tafel 7. Gotha : Justus Perthes. 


AFRIKA.— Politische Ubersichtskarte, Mara, 1885. Scale, 1:25,000,000. 

Petermann's Mittdhnigen, Jahrgang 1885, Tafel 8. Gotha : Justus Perthes. 

This is a carefully prepared map, showing clearly the ever-changing political 
divisions of Africa at the present time. 

BANGOUEOLO ET MOERO. — Itinc-raire de Dar es Salam aux lacs. Par Victor 
Gtraud, Enseigne de Vaisseau, 1882-84. Echelle, 1 : 3,000,000. Paris : Soctttt de 
Geographie, Bulletin, Nos. 7 et 8. 

M. Victor Giraud has so altered the shape of Lake Bangweolo, that to those 
familiar with Dr. Livingstone's lake it is scarcely recognisable. Moero has also 


undergone a transformation ; from this it would appear that the size of these lakes, 
surrounded with extensive marsh lands, must vary to a very great extent at dif- 
ferent seasons of the year. 

CONGO FREE STATE — Sketch Map of— and adjoining French and Portuguese 
Territories. Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, April 1885. London: 
E. Stanford. 


CALIFORNIA, Map of the State of — , compiled expressly for the Immigration 
Association. Scale, 30 miles to an inch. San Francisco Immigration Association. 

FLORIDA, Rand, M'Nally, & Co.'s New Sectional Map of—. Scale, 1 : 633,600. 
Chicago : Band, M'Nally & Co. 

INDIANA, Railway and County Map of — . Scale, 14 miles to an inch. Chicago : 
George F. Cram. 


AARU INSELN.— Scale, 1 : 1000,000. Verhandlungen der Gcsellschaft fur Erd- 
kunde, Band XII. No. 3. Berlin : Dietrich Beimer. 

This map accompanies Herr J. G. Riedel's most interesting paper on the Aaru 
Archipelago and its inhabitants ; it discloses some rather wonderful hydrographical 
features in the coral formation of the group, — the long main island being divided 
into six islands by narrow parallel channels running across it. 

NEW ZEALAND. — Map of the King Country and Neighbouring Districts ; from 
Explorations made by J. H. Kerry-Nicholls, April-May 1883. Scale, 11 miles to 
an inch. Proceedings of the Boyal Geographical Society, A2)ril 1885. London: 
E. Stanford. 

This is the same map which appears in Mr. Kerry-Nicholls' book on the King 


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\From a Photograph by the London Stereoscopic Company.' 





Being an Address delivered before the Glasgow Branch of the 
Scottish Geographical Society on 8th May, 1885. 

By Professor Arminius Vambery. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, — I must begin by stating that I have been 
invited here by the Scottish Geographical Society for the purpose of 
delivering a Geographical Address on the countries on which the present 
political question bears. In coming to the industrial centre of Scotland, 
I must, at the outset, say that I regard Scotland as the cradle of many 
noble ideas, of many heroic deeds ; and that I put particular emphasis 
upon Scotland as the country which has given birth to many intrepid 
explorers of Asia. Amongst others, I will mention one who must be 
looked upon as the man who has really opened Central Asia to us — 
I mean the late Sir Alexander Burnes. It was he who gave the first 
impulse to my travels in Central Asia. I was a young boy when I saw 
his book, which contained an engraving of the author in Central Asian 
dress. In those times, Central Asia was an entirely sealed book to us 
Europeans, and in order to go there, one had not only to change his 
nationality, but also his exterior person, by adopting the dress of the 
country, as a safeguard against his detection. Seeing the courageous 
Scotchman in that dress, I said to myself, " Why should not I, too, adopt 
such a disguise, and go to that country which is not permitted to be seen 
by Europeans ? " It was not only the desire to undertake a journey to 
Central Asia, but also the disguise that I learned from your late country- 
man, who has done so much to open to us the interior of Central Asia. 
I need scarcely say that there are many other Scotchmen of high distinc- 
tion and reputation who have done a great deal to give us precise and 

VOL. i. 


accurate information about the countries now forming the burning 
question of the day, so that, really, if in any part of the United Kingdom, 
it is particularly in Scotland that I should speak with the greatest zeal 
for, and admiration of my predecessors in Asia. But my time, ladies and 
gentlemen, is rather too short to give you a sketch of the explorers of 
that region ; I would rather begin with an outline of what I would call 
Russian Conquests in Central Asia, in order that you may form an idea 
of the present result of these conquests. 

Russia entered the path of Conquest in Asia long before Britain. She 
entered because she herself was an Asiatic Power ; the very origin of the 
Russian Empire is not ethnical, but rather political ; the nucleus of the 
Russian nation has grown into that formidable state it is to-day only by 
continual conquest and by continual amalgamation with the neighbouring 
nations. Russia, after conquering the Tartar Khanates, had reached, at the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, the frontiers of the present Central 
Asia. Peter the Great, we are told, was the first to cast his eyes on 
Turkestan. He heard of the extraordinary wealth of the country, and, 
particularly, of the rich gold mines there. Therefore, he sent his agents 
to reconnoitre. From Central Asia, these agents went even as far as 
India ; and we are told that Peter the Great was the first who conceived 
the idea of conquering India, thus enlarging his dominions from Siberia 
to the banks of the Ganges and the Indus. This we are told by historians, 
but, from a practical point of view, we do not accept things altogether as 
they are told us by historical theorists. The real conquests of Central 
Asia began only after the Russians had come down upon the Kirghiz, the 
inhabitants of a large desert north of the Aral Sea. It was hard work 
to subdue these Kirghiz, because roaming people could not be got at so 
readily ; when Russia had subdued one portion of them, it was necessary 
to run after another portion until they got them all. But these conquests 
were made not by force of arms, but rather by political trickery, by 
inciting one tribe against the other and by bribing the chiefs : and thus 
in a very short time Russia got possession — of course only nominal 
possession — of the whole Kirghiz territory, which contained something 
like three million nomads. But after having subdued these steppes, 
Russia began to turn her attention towards the Khanates, or the three 
Turkestan countries, Khokand, Bukhara, and Khiva. Khiva was first 
assailed. At that time, though very near to India, you had not extended 
your power beyond the Sutlej. The Panjab belonged to the famous 
Sikh princes, and the Afghans were entirely independent. But it was 
apprehended in your country that Russia might possibly conquer these 
countries, and, crossing into Central Asia, attack you in India. These 
ideas sprang up at the time of Napoleon the Great; because Napoleon, in 
order to injure you, had already matured a plan of marching across Persia 
to India, and attacking you there. It was only a plan, of course, which 
could never have been realised, because the country was not then 
sufficiently known. In spite of the venturesome schemes which the 


great Napoleon used to foster, this scheme could never have succeeded, 
but the apprehension remained always that, some day or other, France, 
not Russia, would undertake it. 

This brings us to the year 1860. In this country we had some 
vague notions of the approach of Russia across the desert; and when 
I returned home in 1864, I was able to state that Russia Avas really 
approaching. I did not see any soldiers at the time, but I heard from 
the natives that Russia had already reached the right bank of the 
daxartes, and that she was nearing Tashkend. It seems very strange 
to state that the invasion of Russia across the desert commenced at 
Khokand, and was so concealed and so utterly unknown in Europe that 
what I related came as a complete surprise. The public, indeed, accused 
me of exaggeration ; they said it was probably a bazaar rumour. I 
remember well, Lord Palmerston said to me, " You Hungarians have 
got hot brains, and a man with hot brains will see more than other 
men." But my report was verified shortly afterwards. Russia took 
Tashkend (I860), and when she took Tashkend she issued that famous 
diplomatic circular in which she stated that she did not like to go to 
Tashkend, but that she was compelled to do so. You see Russia is con- 
tinually compelled to make conquests. We continually hear of the 
clamorous demands of peoples to be subdued by the Russians, and an 
extraordinary desire to come under the shadow of the Black Eagle. There 
were those among as who believed these things ; others said, certainly it 
was not the fact. But Prince GortchakofF had already led us to believe 
that Russia really intended to move further than Tashkend. The pretext 
with which the Russian Government came forward at that time was 
simply that, in order to have a hold upon the Kirghiz, they must have a 
firm footing in a comparatively fertile country. The pretext was admissible 
under certain circumstances, but we had full right to believe that Russia 
would not remain there, that she would go on further to the south ; and, 
as a matter of fact, such was the case. 

From Tashkend the Russians moved along the Jaxartes to Khojend, 
and from Khojend on to Samarcand. From Samarcand they could have 
gone very easily to Bukhara, but it was unnecessary to go thither, because 
the Emir, having lost all his power, submitted voluntarily. He paid a 
large war indemnity and became a vassal of Russia. Russia could have 
conquered the country, but it Avas too costly ; because Central Asia never 
pays expenses ; it is not rich enough. It is inhabited only on the banks 
of the riA-ers, and the further you go from them the less is the ground 
cultivated. Therefore Russia did not annex Bukhara, but satisfied herself 
with a nominal supremacy over the country. 

Xow, if you ask me AA T hether it Avas an extraordinary feat of arms or of 
courage to conquer these countries, I simply reply "Xo." Russia, indeed, 
conquered not only the deserts, but even the inhabited, settled country, 
though not by force of arms. Altogether, I should say not more than two 
thousand soldiers first entered the country. AftenA-ards, this force Avas 


increased, but not by large numbers ; and it is easily understood that it 
was not necessary to have large armies in order to conquer the Tartars. 
The Tartars have the reputation of being formidable opponents ; but, as a 
matter of fact, any Asiatic is inferior to a European. He is inferior from 
several points of view ; but, above all, native liberty is entirely wanting 
with them, and they have not got what we call courage. Then comes 
into consideration the superiority of our arms : Europeans have got the 
best weapons, but Asiatics have those only of antiquated make. 

To give you an idea of the arms of the Central Asian, I will describe 
the gun in use in my time, and even now. It is a rusty old musket, 
which can only be fired by a man who rides on horseback. Alighting 
from his horse, he first looks for a level piece of ground ; having dis- 
covered that, he fixes into it a pair of wooden forks, and upon these he 
puts his musket. Taking out his powder — of a very coarse quality — 
he pours it upon the pan ; and then he takes the tinder and lights it 
with a flint. After many efforts, perhaps he may succeed in getting 
the tinder to catch ; and, having blown it into a flame, he begins to 
tap with the tinder upon the powder. He may possibly tap for several 
minutes ; and then at last, by the assistance of Providence, the gun 
goes off. Then the machinery falls to the ground, and the ball goes 
heavens know where ! Imagine such an enemy in the face of a good 
soldier who has a breech-loading gun, and who is able to fire five or ten 
times in a minute ! I give you these details, not to amuse you simply, but 
to show you that the Russian soldier in Asia is not such a formidable man 
as in Europe he is rumoured to be. He is, however, a good soldier ; he 
has got extraordinary powers of endurance; but in Asia he does not show 
the same signs of valorous conduct which your soldiers have shown 
in fights against Sikhs, against Rajputs, and in every part of India 
where they have made really formidable resistance, and where the con- 
quest of the country was made by extraordinary deeds of courage. 

But this is outside the question we are speaking of. Russia conquered 
Central Asia in these parts, and reached the Oxus. The Oxus is a river 
which rises in the high plateaux called the Thian Pamir, and ultimately 
flows into the Aral Sea. Even before the Christian era, the Oxus, which 
is a very large river, formed the boundary between the two chief ethnical 
elements of Asia. On the south, or left bank, were the Aryan race ; on the 
north, or right bank, the Turanian race. One might imagine that Russia, 
having got to the river Oxus, would consider her position and say : " Now 
that Ave have subdued all the Turks in the north, beginning at the 
Ural, down to the Oxus, Ave shall be satisfied, and shall not mix any 
further with the population to the south of this river." 

Such Avas our assumption ; but Ave Avere mistaken ; and I am sorry 
to say that the mistake Avas a misfortune not only to this country, but 
to Europe in general. But diplomatic agencies or States, particularly 
despotic States, are not governed by any limits of frontier whatever. 
Russia, as soon as she reached Bukhara, crossed the river and went to 


conquer Khiva. This happened in 1873. Khiva was subdued by the 
same means, I may say, as the rest ; it was very easy work, comparatively. 
I remember well the Khan of Khiva, when he was vanquished by the 
Russians, taking flight and going among the Turkomans. Poor fellow ! 
he^f ancied — looking at the Asiatic manner of waging war — that as soon as 
the Russians entered the country, he himself would be put to death. 
But Russia gave him back his country, because to govern Khiva would 
have been too expensive ; so they left him the shadow of rule, and retired. 
In 1876 they conquered Khokand, and the whole of Central Asia was in 
their power. They then began to extend their conquests to the Turko- 
man country, which extends in the northern portion of Persia from the 
Caspian Sea to the Paropamisus mountains. The Turkomans, until the 
Russians came to the country, were looked upon as the real barrier of 
Central Asia, because, hitherto, nobody had succeeded in wholly con- 
quering them. They are a hardy race, no doubt ; very good horsemen 
and good soldiers (of the militia or irregular sort), but not soldiers in our 
sense of the word. Against Asiatics they were always victorious. 

I remember, in 1860, the King of Persia sent a large army against Merv 
to conquer it. The King of Persia had a high opinion of his army, and he 
sent a photographer with it to take views of the great victories which his 
army was sure to make. The photographer was a good Frenchman — one 
M. de Blocqueville — a man who came from Paris, and was attached to the 
court of Napoleon the Third, from which place he was obliged to retire. 
He then went to Persia, and became photographer to the king, who really 
exulted in those wonderful pictures which he anticipated from the vic- 
tories of his army. Strange to say, tilings turned out quite differently. 
Two thousand Turkomans utterly routed 20,000 Persians, and so complete 
was the defeat, that not only all the Persian generals, but the poor 
photographer, himself, were made prisoners by the Turkomans. 

The Turkomans also defeated the Bukharans, the Khivans, and the rest 
of the Central Asians. But against the Russians they could gain no victories 
at all. Russia vanquished them easily enough — -though not by force of arms. 
It was by force of iron — not iron shot, but iron rails. In order to reach 
the Turkoman country, Russia was obliged to build a railway from the 
Caspian Sea to the interior. That railway has now reached half-way 
between Kizil Arvat and Askhabad. We read in many papers that the 
Russian railway has already extended from Kizil Arvat to Askhabad, but 
that is not the fact ; it must be only half-way. I suppose that even this little 
portion, from the Caspian Sea to Kizil Arvat, was quite sufficient to assist 
Russia in her conquest of the Turkomans. Water was carried along that 
way and provisions for the army when Russia built that railway. Few 
people here in England or on the Continent imagined that it could be for 
any other purpose than to conquer the Turkomans ; but others, again, who 
knew Russian schemes and Russian plans of aggression, always said that 
this railway might be extended a little further. Russia denied any such 
intention ; and, when pressed to say what the railway meant, she said it 


was simply mercantile interests which engaged her attention there. The 
Russians maintained that, in former times — about 2000 years ago — the 
whole trade of India and China really went along the northern portion of 
Persia: it went to Herat, which was an important commercial centre at that 
time, and along the northern border of Persia, across the Caspian Sea and 
the Caucasus, and thus to the west. We, who knew the country, laughed 
at these assertions. We said her commercial interests Avere too small ; they 
would never pay the expense of a railway in those countries ; nor Avere Ave 
mistaken. Russia had other objects in view ; she intended to approach 
the Paropamisus. The western offshoots of that range extend from the 
Hindu Khiish toAvards the Avest. The Greeks gave the name of Paro- 
pamisus to the Avhole range, but Ave, in modern times, mean by the name 
only the Avestern offshoots. From the very beginning, Russia always had 
a good idea as to how to choose the best places for her future conquests. 
She attacked the Turkoman country, and you "will remember the deadly 
fight at Geok Tepe, Avhich I will not touch on. From that place Russia 
went on to Merv. 

Merv Avas then only a heap of ruins. A long, long time ago, Merv 
Avas a noble city ; and it Avas still a place of great strategical importance, 
because if Russia intended to go south of Merv to the Paropamisus, 
she could not leave that place in the north in the hands of the Turko- 
mans. Therefore she Avas obliged to take Merv. She did not take 
it by force of arms ; but by the usual means — namely, cunning and 
astuteness. She despatched thither a Tartar envoy, Ali Khan, Avho 
annexed the Russian " off," and thus became the Alikhanoff of Avhom Ave 
hear noAV a great deal in the papers. I should be sorry if you imagined 
him to be a diplomatist. He is scarcely able to read or write any 
European language ; he is a downright Tartar ; but Avas quite fit for 
the task given him. He came to Merv, and was clever enough to 
begin Avith the ladies. He brought presents of various jeAvels, and 
dresses, and convinced the ladies of the necessity of becoming Russian 
subjects. The ladies being gained over, easily persuaded their husbands; 
and so it came to pass that Merv, Avithout a shot being fired, was made 
Russian. From Merv, Russia began to extend her conquests to the south, 
to Sarakhs; from Sarakhs and from Merv again to the east, toAvards 
the outlying districts of Herat, Avhich are known by the name of Panjdeh 
— a place about which you are very frequently hearing just now, and of 
Avhich I Avill give you a short description. 

Panjdeh is not the name of a toAvn. " Panj " means "fiAe," and 
"Deh " means "village," so that the Avord Panjdeh means "fiA r e villages." 
But not a single village is there. In olden times there Avere fiA'e towns ; 
but since the Mongolians have deA r astated the country, these five towns 
have ceased to exist. The place, hoAvever, is important from a strate- 
gical point of vieAv, for at Panjdeh the fertile country ends, and the 
dreary sands begin. From Panjdeh Ave enter the Murghab valley, which 
is the easiest Avay to reach Herat, and therefore the Russians Avere clever 


enough to claim this place, which it had no right to claim, because it 
never belonged to Russia. We have Oriental writings ; we have histori- 
cal records written in the Persian language, in which it is proved that 
Panjdeh, from time immemorial, belonged to Herat. Xow, Russia dis- 
covered that it did not belong to Herat, but to them ; and I do not know 
whether you will agree with her or not. It is not my task, however, 
to speak of political subjects ; my task is, as a geographer and as a 
traveller, to give you a description of the country. Panjdeh is of great 
importance because it is the key and the highway to Herat. But Russia, 
not satisfied, went down to Sarakhs, another place of great importance, 
because from Sarakhs another way leads to Herat. 

When the Russians annexed those parts, your statesmen, and public 
opinion in Britain, were naturally alive to the issue ; and an exchange of 
diplomatic notes ensued between London and St. Petersburg. This 
exchange went on for about two years, and the public at large did not know 
anything about it, until it was made known that the Frontier Delimitation 
Commission was to be sent out, in order to put down — of course upon paper, 
or in the air, perhaps — the frontier between Russia and Afghanistan. In 
1873, the British Foreign Minister entered into negotiations with Prince 
Gortchakoff in regard to Afghanistan, and the Russians pretended, at the 
time, that they had not the least intention of going beyond the Oxus, and 
that Afghanistan was quite out of the sphere of their politics. Well, the 
British Government was quite contented with these assurances, and it then 
became known that Afghanistan would become the so-called buffer between 
Russia and India. We all laughed at the buffer, because we knew it had 
got neither sufficient elasticity nor endurance. Again, statesmen did not 
care much about us travellers. They have got their own way of thinking; 
and the buffer became the curtain behind which Russia went on in her 
usual way, stealthily, slowly, and with astuteness, to build up all that 
power with which she intended to threaten you afterwards. As I have 
explained, she reached from Sarakhs to Merv ; and it was quite necessary, 
of course, to ask what her intentions were in the future. For that 
purpose, the Frontier Delimitation Commission was sent out. The Com- 
mission consisted, as you are aware, of two different sections. One, Sir 
Peter Lumsden's, went from England across Turkey and Persia to Herat, 
and consisted of a staff of officers, chiefly political, but a few military. 
The bulk of the Commission, however, went under Colonel Ridgeway from 
India, across Afghanistan to Herat. But at that time, Afghanistan was 
not accessible to the English. Abdurrahman Khan, Amir of Afghanistan, 
said, "I cannot vouch for the safety of the mission ; it is better that you 
should make a detour. - ' And thus they went from a town in the north 
of Beluchistan, across the desert, to the river Helmund. It was a 
difficult way, and not without danger. To insure the safety of the 
Commission, it was quite prudent in your Government to provide an 
escort consisting of 452 men. This escort was a real thorn in the 
eyes of Russia. She said, " The British Commission is coming with a 


large army to conquer Turkestan, and then to penetrate across Turkestan 
to conquer St. Petersburg." We all knew that was a pretext. Your 
mission arrived at the spot, and was surprised not to find their Russian 
colleagues. Instead of Russian colleagues they found there a Russian 
Cossak outpost, at a place where they did not expect it, at least, at Puli- 
Khatun, where the Heri-rud river joins the Kashef-rud, which comes 
from Persia. It is a highly important place. There they met the Russians. 

Now, again, the question became serious. Your Government asked 
explanations from St. Petersburg, but instead of explanations, the 
Russians went further south and reached the Zulfikar Pass. On their 
arrival there, the question became rather acute between the two capitals ; 
but it was settled that, unless some unforeseen evil arose, it should not 
disturb their mutual understanding, and that the Frontier Delimitation 
Commission should still go on. It was, really, in the hands of Russia to 
keep peace, but instead her of doing so we were all startled by the news, 
I should not say of a battle with, but of a butchery of the Afghans. I was 
surprised at the forbearance shown by the British Government in the 
subsequent negotiations,— but I desire to avoid politics. I will only state 
that I fully agree with the importance attached by you to Herat as the 
key of India — nay, the gate of India. 

Herat is a town in which I lived several weeks in a very unenviable 
position. I lived there as a beggar — a mendicant dervish. When I reached 
Herat, I had not a farthing ; all the trinkets which I had carried across 
Central Asia were gone ; and there remained only two means by which I 
could gain my livelihood. One was the blessing which I bestowed on the 
people. Strange to say, the Afghans, in spite of being so fanatic, did not 
much like my articles, for everybody refused the blessing I offered ; or, if 
they accepted it, they never paid a farthing. I remained in Herat in a 
caravanserai — a cold and dilapidated place. I was shivering with cold and 
half-dead with hunger ; and, though I went round among the people, the 
stingy Afghans never gave me a morsel of bread. I quote this in order to 
show you that I had plenty of time to study the country and its 
inhabitants, and the result of my study is that I maintain what has 
been said a long time before me, and what I said in 1869, in a pamphlet 
entitled Herat and Central Asia, that Herat really is the key to India, 
and the gate of India. And to you here, in the centre of the industrial 
work of Scotland, it will be particularly interesting if I relate to you 
how Herat could be made really the centre of the whole of the Central 
Asian trade. Beginning from the north, from Siberia down to India, 
there is no spot so fertile as Herat. It is the place Avhere all the roads 
unite from the north to the south, and from the west to the east ; and, 
in olden times, Herat was always the emporium of Central Asian trade. 
Even in my time, indigo and tea were staple articles of trade ; and not 
only Persian, but even Central Asian and English goods, which are sent 
to Central Asia, were all imported into Herat, and sold or exchanged 
for other articles. If a European Power gets possession of Herat you will 


see — and you will remember what I say — that, in the course of ten or 
fifteen years, Herat will be connected by railway with the Caspian Sea, and 
will become the greatest trading-place in Central Asia. It is on this 
account that I should like to see this place in the hands of Great Britain, 
being fully convinced that with your commerce, and with the goods 
imported from this country, you would also import the era of a better 
civilisation. For, according to my views, there are only two good mediums 
in the world capable of bringing a better life into the dark recesses of 
barbarism : one is the missionary, and the other is the bale of goods. 

It is extraordinary to witness the wonder which such a bale of goods 
can create among Asiatics. I remember in the desert I saw a woman, 
one day, who had a handkerchief which was made either here or in York- 
shire. She held it before her ; looked at every thread of it, and said to me, 
" Look how thin this thread is ; it must have been a spirit who could 
have spun it so thin as that !" Again she looked at the colours, and 
said : " How wonderful are the colours ! it must have been a real jin 
who could have done this ! " 

I can assure you, nothing is more able to turn the minds of Asiatics 
than the productions of your industry, therefore it is no mere com- 
pliment I pay you. Your country, by carrying her merchandise far 
into the East, has done more, I dare say, to promote civilisation than 
many hundreds of books could have done. I do not deny that, besides 
the bale of goods, there are other missionaries who can do good in Asia ; 
and I speak but the truth when I say that your missionaries in the East 
have imported there the conciliatory spirit of our Western life. Their 
houses are the hospitals, their houses are the schools ; and they show an 
example of disinterestedness and unselfishness to the natives ; therefore, 
I agree with you, and particularly with the people of Scotland, in this 
matter : you spend a good deal of money upon the missionaries, and 
rightly, for they do much good in Asia. Thus, we have seen that bales 
of goods and the missionaries really are the best civilisers in Asia. 

To return to the topic which I selected for my lecture, and to 
give you an idea of how Eussia succeeded in making her conquests in 
these parts, I may say that it is due to the great indulgence and for- 
bearance shown her, not only by you, but by the whole of Europe. 
But as things now stand the question becomes acute. We must ask 
ourselves who is to become, not only mistress of Afghanistan but mistress 
also of Asia. If the Continental press and Continental public opinion 
assert Panjdeh to be merely a box of sand, they make an egregious 
blunder. It is not a box of sand ; it is a case of precious jewels which 
you defend there. By precious jewels I mean principles, by which you 
say to Eussia, "Thus far, but no farther:" If you allow Eussia to 
take Panjdeh, she will take it, and afterwards Herat. From Herat she 
will go to Kandahar, and from Kandahar she will go to India. She is 
already in advance of you. You have behind you the sea, and Eussia has 
alreadv behind her a good line of communications. Eussia can now reach 


Batiim from Odessa in one day. Then, at Batum begins the railway 
which crosses to the Caspian, — and a very costly railway it was. It was 
said to have been built for mercantile purposes ; but it turns out now 
that some other object was in view. From Batiim, by railway, the land 
can easily be crossed in one day to Baku, on the Caspian Sea ; and across 
to Mikhailovsk again in one day. From Mikhailovsk begins the railway, 
which will be extended very soon to the neighbourhood of Herat ; and 
Russia will thus be able in a very short time to reach from her military 
depots in the interior to the country which she has annexed. As I before 
said, you have only got the sea behind India ; and however forward you 
may be in India, your depots are only at Quetta; and from Quetta to 
Herat even the most rapid march could not be made under from six to 
eight weeks. Therefore, Russia is already in advance of you— there is no 
doubt about it. And for this reason I say your statesmen are quite right 
not to precipitate war. 

I am not here in this country in the interests of party politics : I have 
nothing to do with party politics. It would not only be immodest, but 
impudent if I mixed in the internal politics of this country : I have 
nothing to do with them. I come as a Hungarian, as an Eastern traveller, 
and as a man who bears the interest of Asia at heart ; and as such, I come 
to say that it is my earnest desire to see England spreading Western 
culture throughout Asia. 

You may ask why I come to this conclusion 1 Well, I lived too long in 
Asia not to see which of the civilising agencies is the superior. Russia, 
undoubtedly, approaches the Asiatic character more than you do, because 
the Russian himself is half an Asiatic. His manners of life, his mode of 
thinking, and his customs are much nearer the Asiatic than are yours. 
There is no doubt about it. But we do not see any great residts from his 
civilisation. Look at the Tartar Cossack. He has been now nearly 300 
years under Russian rule, but he does not in the least approach our 
Western civilisation : he is as much a Tartar as ever, he has not been 
raised to any level of culture, he remains as behindhand as before. But 
now look at India. I dare say the most bitter enemy of Great Britain 
would confess that a hundred years of your rule have been beneficial to 
India. Old superstitions have disappeared, and with them the differences 
of caste and of political and social standing. Now, the humblest man as 
well as the Rajah can ask for justice before the British tribunal. There 
are many instances on record in which not only natives have sought and 
obtained redress from British justice, but the British Government itself 
has sometimes lost lawsuits against natives. 

But why should I relate to you things which you must know better than 
I ? It is only short-sightedness and envy that make people say that Russia 
is a better civilising agent than you are : I cannot believe that a thinking 
man could ever assert such a thing ; and this being impossible, I do not 
see how it can be said that Russia ought to extend her conquests towards 
India, and damage your interest there. There may be people who support 


such an argument, and it has been the habit on the Continent, particularly 
of late, to abuse everything British. I can assure you it is due only to 
envy, and to nothing else. Xo traveller who has been in India, whether he 
be French, German, Italian, Hungarian, or even Russian, would fail to be 
astonished at the extraordinary change which has taken place there. 
And now I ask you whether, this being the case, one can become indifferent 
to your doings in India or to your future in India? I dare say "No." 
Xo foreigner can become indifferent to them, if he really has the interests 
of humanity at heart. While I am going through your country giving 
explanations of the present situation, it is by no means with any desire to 
fan the flame of war against Russia. War is an abominable thing : I hate 
war. But if it be necessary, if it be the last means, then we must grasp 
the sword in order to defend the right, in order to defend the sacred cause 
of humanity ; and to such a position you may come in your future struggle 
with Russia. 

I shall now add only a few concluding words for the purpose of 
showing you that you are not in such great danger as some would have 
you suppose. Let us begin with the surrounding elements, and, before 
all, let us begin with India. 

In former times, people used to say, India is the powder-mill of 
England; India is full of discontented elements, and those elements may 
show themselves in the moment of danger. Well, I do not say that all 
the inhabitants of India are in love with British rule — I do not say that ; 
but I can state from what I have seen, and from what I have learned, that 
the majority of the Indians are with you. The feudatory States are, 
without exception, with you ; and we have witnessed lately that not only 
princes but princesses have brought their jewels and offered them to the 
Viceroy in order to assist in defraying the expenses of the war which was 
imminent against Russia. I am an attentive reader of the Indian news- 
papers, and I have really scarcely noticed any opinion expressed in India 
in favour of Russia during the present crisis. Looking be}'ond India you 
have Afghanistan. You have heard the Afghans Aery often spoken of ; 
they are a people whom I cannot say that I have fallen in love with. 
They are greedy, avaricious, rude, barbarous, and, I must say, the worst 
of the Mohammedans I have ever met with. But, in spite of all this, we 
must make a distinction. The Afghans are divided into two sections. 
One of these, namely, the Eastern Afghans, is really more hostile than the 
Western. Excepting, perhaps, a little bit of country extending from 
Behlchistan to Kandahar, the western portion of Afghanistan is entirely 
in favour of the British. Beyond Kandahar, the Afghan element ceases 
and the Persian element begins. The Persian element is decidedly in 
favour of English rule, although I do not even know whether that rule 
will be extended there. I wish only to state that they would not be 
averse to it : they would never fight against you if they were shown the 
slightest sympathy. You must remember that this part of Afghanistan 
has already been under British influence. In 1841 and 1842, when Sir 


Eldred Pottinger — a very valiant, wise, and clever soldier — was Governor 
there ; and when Major Todd also held that post, they had only a few 
British officers, but they were quite sufficient to make your influence felt 
and the name of the British people beloved. Sir Henry Bawlinson, in 
Kandahar, was really beloved by the inhabitants. The Afghans, in spite 
of being a wild people, are not so unmanageable in that district as in the 
other. But, to turn from Afghanistan to Persia, the Persians are, I should 
say, always accessible to the highest bidder ; but, in such a case, Bussia 
could never outbid you because she has not the means to do it ; and in 
the event of war between you and the Bussians — which I should greatly 
deplore — I am sure Persia would side with you. 

The third element is the Turk. The Turk in Constantinople may be 
classed under two sections — one consisting of the Effendis and the other 
of the people. The Effendis are not an honest set of men : I do not like 
them at all ; they are neither patriotic nor honest. The Turkish people, 
however, are more honest and patriotic. I have lived among them, and I 
can assure you that they really deserve the praise that is so frequently 
bestowed upon them. They are very good soldiers indeed; I do not 
exaggerate when I say that they are the best soldiers in the world. Well, 
those Turks are really greatly in favour of the English. I remember, 
when I went to Turkey, after the Crimean Avar, they used to call the 
British soldier "Johnny," and they said that " Johnny " was half a Turk. 
They said that he was half a Mohammedan, that he had no idols in his 
church, that he sang hymns of praise as devoutly as the Mohammedan 
himself, and they really could not understand why the English should 
be called unbelievers ; they should be accounted as downright believers 
as the Mohammedans. Such were the views held in my time. 

I now come to another question which is not known in this country. 
I remember seeing an old Turkish watch — it was like a big case. It 
was handed down from father to child, and was called an " English " 
watch. Swiss and German watches were shown to the people, but they 
would have none of them ; they would only have English watches — there 
were none like them. I do not know whether these watches ever saw 
England, but such was their reputation. The same with arms and every- 
thing which came from England — they are all liked by the Turks ; and, 
really, the name of your nation is a favourite household word among all the 
Mohammedans throughout the world, and I should be sorry if that good 
name were destroyed. It is by your good standing that you have acquired 
that reputation in the Mohammedan world, and it is by your good standing 
you will best preserve your rule in India. If you press forward, without 
hesitation, I hope it may be long before you have to fight for India ; and 
I am sure you will only be able to fight by retaining the sympathy and 
the effective help of these same Mohammedans. 

And now to conclude — I have come to this country, and have every- 
where met with an undeserved reception, owing, perhaps, to my books 
and not to my personal qualities. Having had this kind and undeserved 


reception, I can scarcely find words to thank you for your share in it ; 
and I must conclude, as everywhere I conclude, with the best hope that 
the present crisis will not lead to a war but to something better, namely, 
that the British nation will be roused from her stupor and be fully 
awakened to her interest in the East. A great service has been done to 
you by Russia; she is, in fact, scarcely aware of the great services she 
has rendered you. I have gone through your country, and have mixed in 
all classes of society, and they are all animated with the desire of main- 
taining your Indian Empire. On the Continent, people are commencing 
already to divide the spoil. Some of them say that half of the British 
trade will come to them and the rest go into other hands. They say that 
Great Britain is abdicating, and that she will become like the Dutch or 
Portuguese. But I will never believe this. Great Britain will never 
abdicate her position ! You will always be alive to the great interests 
you have in the East. I come to you, not as a Hungarian speaking 
against Russia, but as an Eastern traveller, to say to you that you have 
done hitherto great work and charitable work in Asia ; and my earnest 
hope is that you will continue to uphold the integrity of your Indian 


Delivered before the Scottish Geographical Society at 
Edinburgh, 20th May, 1885. 

By Dr. Robert W. Felkin, F.R.S.E., F.R.G.s. 

The subject of my paper to-night has been chosen for me ; I should 
much have preferred to read a paper I had written for this evening on 
Uganda, but, at your Committee's repeated request, I have consented to 
speak upon a theme which, though very near to my heart, is at the same 
time intensely painful. In doing so I shall avoid, as far as I conscientiously 
can, entering into the realm of British foreign politics. 

Notwithstanding the thrilling events which have occurred in the 
Sudan during the past two years, I think it must be admitted that little 
real knowledge is possessed by the people of the United Kingdom as to 
what the Sudan was, is, and may be. 

In order to lay before you in the short space of time at my disposal, 
as distinctly and succinctly as possible, an outline of a subject which a 
large volume only could exhaust, I will first speak of the geographical 
position and extent of the country, next of its inhabitants, and then of its 
physical features and powers of production ; I will also give a rapid 
sketch of the Sudan as it was at the end of 1880 ; point out some of the 


causes of the Mahdi's rebellion ; and, in conclusion, indicate what may 
even now be its future. 

According to the nearest estimate I can make, the whole of the 
Egyptian Sudan extends over 2,500,000 square miles, as compared with 
116,841 square miles, the extent of the United Kingdom. It stretches 
north and south across nearly 24 degrees of latitude, from Egypt to the 
south end of the Albert Lake, some 1600 miles; and east and west it is 
from 1200 to 1400 miles broad. It is difficult to give its exact boundaries, 
but I will point them out as nearly as possible on the map. The popula- 
tion of this country is roughly estimated at 15,000,000, of which about 
three-quarters are Negroes. 

It will be readily understood that a land of such extent, and stretching 
as it does through so many degrees of latitude, must present varied 
physical features. The generally accepted idea that the whole of the 
Egyptian Sudan is a dreary, howling wilderness, is totally false. True, 
in the provinces where our gallant soldiers have been endeavouring to 
conquer an equally gallant foe, deserts exist, water is scarce, the land is 
either rocky or sandy, and cultivation extremely difficult, if not impossible ; 
but these deserts comprise only a small portion of the Sudan, and their 
gigantic rocks and dreary sands form but nature's barrier to a mine of 
wealth beyond. Before going into details. I would ask you to follow me 
for one moment while I sketch out on the map the route I took during 
my two years' wanderings in the Sudan. You will then see that I do 
not give you hearsay evidence, but that I tell you of lands that I have 
myself visited. The conflicting reports as to the value of the Sudan are, 
I think, due to the fact that various travellers have only seen parts of the 
country. It has been my good fortune to travel through nearly the whole 
of its extent, so that I think I may be permitted to estimate the wealth 
and capabilities of those regions which lie beyond the belt of silence and 
of death, that separates them from civilisation and the sea. 

In studying the population of the Sudan, we must divide the country 
into districts, for the inhabitants vary considerably as to race and degree 
of civilisation. 

First, then, we will divide it by the ninth parallel of north latitude into 
two great divisions. The population of the northern division is composed 
of various Arab and Nubian tribes, all professionally Mohammedan. This 
large division must be subdivided into four districts ; first, one commencing 
at 24° N. latitude, and extending south to Khartum, bounded on the 
east by the Red Sea, and on the west by the 28th parallel of east longitude; 
second, Sennar ; third, Kordofan ; and fourth, Uarfur. The boundaries 
of these divisions I will trace out on the map. 

The principal tribes which inhabit these districts are the Abadde 
between Assuan and the Red Sea, and extending as far south as Berber ; 
next to them, to the east, in the mountains along the Red Sea, and in the 
deserts between Suakin and Berber, we find the Bishari, who are in all 
probability direct descendants of the Ethiopians ; they remind one forcibly 


of the Abyssiuiaus, though they are rather taller and of a darker colour. 
They are well formed, and have beautiful classical features. South of this 
tribe live the Hadendoa, and further to the east, the Beni Amer, the 
two tribes being divided by the river Baraka. The Kassala district is 
inhabited mostly by the Melikab, Segolloa, and Hallenga. The great 
Shukuri tribe inhabits the extensive country between the Atbara and 
the Blue Nile, as far south as the 14th parallel of north latitude. In 
Gadaref we find the Dabaina ; between the Dender and the Blue Nile the 
Hamadabs, and in southern Sennar the Abu Boofs. The inhabitants of 
Sennar are the descendants of the Fung, while the Berta tribe is found 
south of Fazokl, as far as the 10th degree N. latitude. Between Dongola 
and Metemmeh, on the west of the Nile, we find the Sheigeihs ; further 
south, from the sixth Nile cataract to the 14th degree of N. latitude the 
Hassanieh, and to the south of this, the great Bagarra tribe. The people 
of Kordofan are a strange mixture of the old inhabitants and the descen- 
dants of slaves and soldiers. The population is about 300,000. 

I now pass on to Darfur. The meaning of the word Darfur is the 
land of the Fors; but several tribes are found within its boundaries. 
There are the Homr Arabs in the north, the Bertis Tukruri in the east ; 
in the south-east the Risegat, while in the south the Bagarra Arabs and 
Tukruri are mingled, and the real natives, the Fors, now live chiefly in 
the west part of the province. The Arabs have not intermingled much 
with the other tribes, who are more or less Negroes, and it is not difficult 
to distinguish one from the other, the regular features and lighter colour 
at once proclaiming the Arab. The total population is over a million, 
about half that number being Fors. The dress of the natives is very 
simple, their garments being generally made of their homespun damoor 
cloth. The men wear merely a long shirt with long sleeves, and open, 
while the women's attire is a kind of large sheet, which is bound round 
the waist, one corner being thrown over the left shoulder, leaving the 
right arm and breast exposed. Their arms and necks are decorated with 
iron and brass ornaments, which are also of home manufacture. The 
people are very hospitable, but they only give travellers a certain amount 
of water, as, having so little, they are unwilling to part with it. They are 
clean and industrious, and gxeat hunters, often crossing the Bahr el- 
Arab in search of game. The children are employed in cleaning and 
spinning cotton, the men in weaving it ; the women cultivate the fields, 
weave mats, and attend to their household duties. It was a real pleasure 
on arriving at a village to see all the people thus employed in useful 

All these tribes are more or less nomads, but their pastures lie in the 
well-defined limits I have just mentioned. They possess numbers of 
camels, cattle, horses, and goats ; and their women cultivate just enough 
grain to supply their barest wants. The men are warriors, and consider 
that hunting, slave-raiding, and war are alone worthy of their prowess. 
They are armed with spears, swords, and small round shields ; and many 


wear chain-armour, which must have belonged to the Crusaders, and have 
found its way into the country from Syria. 

Passing to the second great division, namely that south of 9° N. 
latitude, we find an immense number of pure Negro tribes in various 
states of semi-civilisation down to the Xiam-Xiam cannibals. During my 
travels I passed through very many of these tribes, and I only wish that 
I had time to give you a detailed description of each. Their physical 
development, intellectual powers, manners and customs, are very varied. 
The Shilluks, the Baris, the Madis, Makarakas and Xiam-Xiams are well- 
built, warlike people : the men spend their time in hunting, building 
huts, and fishing; the women, for the most part, cultivate the land. 
Intellectually, the Madis and the Fors are decidedly superior to the 
surrounding tribes ; the Shulis and the Bongos are the most friendly, 
whilst the Dinkas, the Jurs, and the Xueirs are of the lowest type. A 
short description of one or two tribes must suffice. The Shulis are tall, 
powerfully built, of a dark chocolate colour ; their heads are much orna- 
mented with feathers and beads ; the men's dress is either a leopard or 
goat skin, which partly covers the body, and the women's a girdle made 
of a piece of soft leather, cut behind in much the same shape as the tails of 
a dress coat ; the married women wearing an exceedingly narrow fringe of 
string in front, while the unmarried wear nothing but bead ornaments. It 
is a universal practice among the Shulis to smear themselves all over with 
red paint, made of oxide of iron and the oil obtained from the semsem 
seed. One curious custom which distinguishes them from other tribes is 
that of boring a hole through the under lip and inserting in it a piece of 
crystal three or four inches long, which sways about as they speak. The 
four lower incisor teeth are also extracted, and these two customs combined 
make their pronunciation very imperfect. 

The Baris are a fine muscular race, though not so tall as the Shulis. 
The men are far better-looking than the women ; they are always naked, 
as they think it Avomanish to dress. The women's dress I show you, and 
you will notice its tail. There is very little doubt that it was this article 
of dress which led to the fabulous reports that some tribes in the Soudan 
had tails. Iron, copper, and brass rings are worn on the arms and legs ; 
iron chains are sometimes worn round the waist, and usually a string of 
charms is suspended round the neck, while dogs' teeth necklaces are very 
common. An ivory ring is sometimes seen on a man's arm, but this may 
only be worn after killing a man or an elephant single-handed. The men 
wear a tuft of hair on their heads, but the women are always entirely 
shaven. The Baris do not wear so many beads as the Shidis or the 
Madis, but tattoo themselves extensively. The men are armed with light 
lances, and bows and arrows of superior manufacture, and they are very 
expert in their use. 

The tribes from which nearly all General Gordon's Xegro soldiers were 
drafted were mainly the Makaraka and Madi tribes. They make splendid 
soldiers, and are very faithful. 


In order to give a clear idea of the physical features and productive 
powers of the various provinces winch form the Sudan, I will briefly de- 
scribe them seriatim. 

To begin with Dongola, on the north. This province is the only one I 
have not myself visited, so that I am unable to give you a description of 
it from my own observation. On either side of the Nile, which is enclosed 
by granite and sandstone hills, fertile plains stretch out, the crops are fine, 
and if the land were well cultivated they might be very abundant. Cotton 
and corn are grown to a great extent, and goats, sheep, and camels are 
reared in large numbers. Irrigation has to be employed, as the Nile does 
not here overflow its banks. Notwithstanding this, one author describes 
Dongola as one of the finest provinces of the Sudan. It is, however, 
destitute of forest trees, and has no large streams. 

Coming next to Nubia, the country between the lied Sea and Khar- 
tum, we find dreary sandy deserts and rocky hills ; little or no cultivation 
exists, but goats, sheep, and camels are reared in considerable numbers. 

The whole district of Sennar, however, on account of its position 
between the Blue and AVhite Niles, and the districts on the east of the 
Blue Nile, are capable of great development The fertility of these 
provinces depends wholly on the amount of the rains, which begin in May 
and continue till the middle of September. None of the rivers overflow 
their beds, which, deeply cut in the alluvial soil, contribute their contents 
towards the formation of the Nile delta. The districts watered by the 
Setit and the Atbara, as far as Cos liegeb (16 3 N. latitude), contain 
magnificent soil. The quality of the soil and the climate are favourable 
to the cultivation of every tropical plant, as for example, sugar, cocoa, 
spices, coffee, and especially cotton, which can be produced in the greatest 
abundance. The whole of Kassala, together with the district between the 
Blue Nile, the Atbara, and the White Nile, the strip of land along the 
Rahad and the Dender, as also Sennar, might be converted into a large 
cotton plantation, if the inhabitants could rely on an orderly and just 
government, and if railway communication were established with Suakin 
for the transport of their produce. No land in the world is more favourable 
to the cultivation of cotton than are the countries just mentioned, where 
a rainfall from May till September insures the growth of the plants, and 
a perfectly dry harvest-time allows the cotton being gathered in in the 
best possible condition. It would also be possible to grow corn here to 
almost any extent ; it is now chiefly produced on the Blue Nile, south of 
Khartum, and also in the districts of Gadaref, which are famous for their 
enormous produce of dhura. The Blue Nile, and its tributaries the 
Rahad and the Dender, as also the Atbara, which have all very swift 
currents during the rains, can be controlled by floodgates and dams, and 
Meroe could be traversed by a network of canals as in Lower Egypt. 
The importance of an extensive cultivation of grain is seen from the 
fact that no less than 18,000 tons of corn are imported from the 
Persian Gulf into Suakin annually. If the above-mentioned land were 

Vol.. [. p 


properly cultivated, it. would very soon cut out all foreign producers 
who at present supply the Suakin market, nor is there any reason why 
Suakin should not become a great grain-exporting port and the English 
market he supplied by farmers round Khartum. 

The province of Kordofan, regarded as a whole, may be said to be one 
vast plain, sloping from south to north : at the highest part — that is to say, 
the southern extremity — it is some 2000 feet above sea-level. There 
are no mountain ranges, and indeed but few hills, and these are not 
more than 400 feet above the level of the surrounding country. No 
rivers or streams are to be found, but there are some shallow khors which 
contain a little water during the rains ; I do not think that there is am 
drainage from this dreary area into the Nile. Here and there one comes 
across a well, but water is veiy scarce, and has to be procured from a 
considerable depth, sometimes even 150 feet. There are also three small 
lakes, El-Birket, El-Rahad, and Shirkele. The triassic formation obtains 
over the whole province; the most important feature is the new red 
sandstone, which rests on hypogen rocks. Over the sandstone the ground 
is firm and gravelly, and contains much oxide of iron. It makes bad 
soil, and as a result the country is very barren, stunted acacias and low 
thorn-bushes forming the entire vegetation. Where the hypogen rocks 
crop up, the soil which covers them is far richer; it is composed of the 
detritus of these rocks, and as it contains a good deal of clay and a little 
potash, the soil resulting from their decomposition is better in quality, and 
upon it grass and large trees will grow, while dokn is much cultivated in 
these parts. Near Obeiyad (l(i- r >"i feet above sea-level), igneous rocks, 
quartz, gneiss, and granite abound. At Obeiyad and at Barra there are 
deep wells with an unlimited supply of water, and the gardens which used 
to surround these towns were very celebrated. In some parts of Kordofan 
there are large atmoors, or deserts, through which the traveller may 
wander for days without seeing a single sign of vegetation. All over, the 
scenery, excepting during the Harif, is dreary and desolate in the extreme. 
For a few Aveeks then the landscape is pretty, the plains being covered 
with grass and the trees bright with fresh green, but the beauty soon 
vanishes, and from October to June the country becomes a parched desert. 
Notwithstanding this the trade with Kordofan was considerable. In 1880 
the expoi*ts of gum. feathers, etc., amounted to £120,000, and the imports 
to £50,000, about four-fifths of the latter being cotton goods. 

We next pass on to the province of Darfur. The geological forma- 
tion is very varied ; in the west many mountains are found 5000 feet 
high, having beds of lava and every indication of volcanic origin. In the 
north and south granite and sandstone are the prevailing rocks ; while 
to the east much sandy soil is found, and a great quantity of iron is 
obtained, which is largely used for manufacturing purposes. I was 
informed that near Jebel Marah there is a large salt-water lake, from 
which considerable quantities of salt are obtained by evaporation. This 
forms a valuable article of barter. Gold is also found, and I show you 


some articles made from it which I obtained in Darra. The goldsmiths 
there and at El-Fasher are very skilful workmen. When I passed 
through this province it was in the dry season, and as there are no rivers 
which now all the year round, I had great difficulty in obtaining water. 
Good wells are few and far between ; the greater part of the water I 
found en route was taken from the Adansonia reservoirs ; and during the 
dry season the people have to rely chiefly on the water-melon, which is 
very largely cultivated for drinking, washing, and cooking purposes. 

I now pass on to the second great division of the Sudan, that south 
of latitude 9°. The population is here pure Xegro ; and, for the pur- 
pose of description, I must subdivide it into three parts. First, the Bahr 
el-Ghazal and Rohl provinces, or, as they are now, one province, governed 
by Lupton Bey, an Englishman. It is bounded on the north by latitude 9°, 
nu the east by the Nile, on the west by the twenty-fourth degree east 
longitude, and on the south by the fifth degree north latitude. This pro- 
vince was the scene of the great slave war of 1878 to 1879, and it had 
been the chief slave-hunting ground for many years. "When T was there, 
at the end of 1879, order had again been established, and the people were 
rapidly settling down to their ordinary occupations. The climate here is 
good, and, in the southern parts, the highlands, 4000 feet above the level 
of the sea, form an undeniably good field for future colonisation. Fatal 
fevers are here unknown, and I have no hesitation in saying that Euro- 
peans could exist in the southern part of this province, as also in the Niam- 
Niam country and Makaraka, under conditions of comfort and prosperity. 
I show you here sections of the country drawn from observations which I 
made when there ; the first is a section of the country from Lake No to 
Uganda, the other from Lado to Darra, in Darfur. 

The whole of the Bahr el-Ghazal district is splendidly watered ; num- 
berless rivers, rising in the south, pour an immense volume of water into 
the Bahr el-Ghazal, and between the streams forests of mighty trees or 
fertile undulating plains abound. Here tropical luxuriance is seen to per- 
fection ; the winding forest-paths lead through charming sylvan scenery ; 
one is completely surrounded by trees, whose mighty branches interlace 
so thickly that it is impossible to see their crowns, which in many instances 
tower to a height of more than 100 feet. The dense foliage completely 
shuts out the rays of the sun, and even at midday one marches along in a 
dim mysterious twilight. Bright-coloured creepers droop in graceful fes- 
toons from the trees, forming bowers of ever-varying beauty ; here and 
there one catches glimpses of shady avenues, through which dart the 
startled denizens of the forest. Now and then birds of lovely plumage 
Hy overhead, startling one by their shrill piercing cries; rainbow-hued 
butterflies flutter hither and thither, while the hum of myriads of insects 
makes the silence more intense. At times one passes through colonnades, 
formed by the interlacing mighty branches, the soft green sward under- 
neath being a pleasant contrast to the tangled underwood through which 
one often has to force a passage. At times the path is obstructed by a- 


"igantic tree, which, unable to resist the force of some fierce blast, lias 
fallen, but, though fallen, is still beautiful, with its soft covering of velvety 
moss. High overhead the wind sighs among the branches, and the rustling 
of innumerable leaves sounds like the murmur of the ocean upon a sandy 
shore. The atmosphere, heavy with the overpowering scent of tropical 
vegetation, produces a feeling of oppression, and, though wondering and 
rejoicing at the marvellous beauty so lavishly displayed around, one is 
glad when a welcome break in the forest permits one to breathe a purer, 
cooler air. 

Up to the time of the slave war in 1878, the whole of the Bahr el- 
Ghazal district was practically in the hands of the slave-dealers. Dotted 
over this immense district were their zeribas, strongly fortified posts, gar- 
risoned by Dongolawis and Besingers, and from these forts the slave raids 
were made. In some districts the effect has been a practical extermina- 
tion of the native tribes. Where former travellers have seen fertile lands, 
and happy contented inhabitants, I found only dreary uncultivated wastes ; 
and the once teeming population was reduced to a few wretched creatures, 
who had been so downtrodden and crushed, that their existence seemed 
lower than that of the wild beasts that lurk in the surrounding forests. 

In all ages, slavery has existed in some countries, but years ago the fiat 
of the Christian world went forth that it must cease. In the new world, 
and on the western shores of Africa, its abolition has been accomplished ; 
not so in Eastern and Central Africa. And why '( Has the edict been 
revoked ] Have the hearts of Christian nations turned to stone 1 How 
is it that a deaf ear seems to be still turned to the cry of those who are 
bound fast in misery and iron ? Thousands upon thousands of Negroes 
are wistfully looking forward to the time, long since promised, when this 
oppression shall cease, and an end be put to the cruel tyranny under 
which they have so long groaned. If their hopes are to be disappointed, 
why have permitted the slave war, why have allowed the slaughter of 
thousands, the sack of villages, the devastation of the land, and all the 
atrocities which attend a war of that description, unless some definite 
result is to ensue 1 Far better to have spared them this indescribable 
misery, and never to have given them a taste of freedom, only to snatch 
it ruthlessly and cruelly away. 

You see it is not only the deserts between the Red Sea and Khartum 
that have to be considered in the question of the evacuation of the Sudan. 
Much more is involved. If it be evacuated, the old slave-trade must 
inevitably revive, and the Anti-Slavery Society, although miserably 
supported, is perfectly justified — nay, morally bound — to use all possible 
endeavours to prevent the blackest crime being committed which I think 
will ever have sullied Britain's fair fame. 

To make my meaning clear, Egypt, rightly or wrongly, annexed these 
provinces. England brought the utmost pressure to bear upon her to 
stop the slave-trade, which flourished in her new possessions ; and as a 
result, wars were undertaken against the slave-dealers. At first, the White 


Nile was closed to slave caravans, and the Dongolawies were compelled 
to undertake the desert routes in order to evade the rigour of the law. 

Thus the sufferings of the slaves were much enhanced, and hundreds and 
thousands perished on the road. But the slave-dealers were then fol- 
lowed to their hunting-grounds in the Bahr el-Ghazal district, and the 
above sanguinary war took place, in which they were overthrown, and 
order and prosperity were once more introduced int<> this long-suffering 
region. Xow, however, the British Government advises or rather compels 
the evacuation of the Sudan, the only possible result of which will he the 
re-establishment of the slave-dealer's reign. If you had marched with me 
along a thousand miles of desert slave route, and seen for yourselves the 
way lined with the grinning skeletons of fallen or murdered slaves, yoit 
would understand why I feel so deeply on the subject. 

I come next to the Equatorial Province proper. Its boundaries are 
somewhat complicated, but approximately they are these : — On the north, 
the 9th degree N. latitude; on the west, the Nile as far as Lado, and then 
.1 line pushed 150 miles west, and continued in a curve to the south 
end of the Albert Lake. The southern boundary is the Albert Lake, the 
Victoria Nile, and a line drawn from Foweira to 35' E. longitude, 
which same parallel forms the eastern boundary line. In this province 
Sir Samuel Baker struck the first blow at slavery; Gordon Pasha took up 
the work, introduced order, built stations, made the people respect his 
authority, and completely abolished slavery. The present Governor, Dr. 
Emin Bey, rules over this large province with ease, requiring only 1500 
Negro troops, divided into small companies at different stations, to keep 
order. Crime is unknown, slavery does not exist, the people live at peace 
with each other, and on the most friendly terms with the Government, 
and they pay their taxes in cattle and grain without any demur. 

Emin Bey is devoted to the welfare of his people. His great object in life 
is to make them contented and happy, and to do as much as possible to raise 
and educate them. This province presents a picture of the good that can 
be done by a firm and just hand. Dr. Emin was able to write me in March 
1883, that his province " yielded a revenue of £8000 into the Government 
treasury in 1882, after the deduction of all costs for Government trans- 
port, etc., and this notwithstanding the total want of articles for barter, 
which if we possessed we should be in a position to double this amount, 
without any fresh development of the resources of the countiy. I can 
say, perhaps with some pride, that my province, the youngest in the 
Egyptian dominions, has remained quite quiet, and we are living here as 
peaceably as if Egypt, Khartum, and the Mahdi were not in existence. 
You know that the Negroes keep true to me, and I am therefore in a posi- 
tion to control them easily, and the soldiers are also devoted to me." 
" What an enormous market there would be here for calico and other 
articles of European manufacture ! All our people are longing to get them, 
and if we had only something to give them as payment, they would gladly 
work to supply their needs. It is not to be expected that Negroes will 


work for nothing, but the seductive spirit of barter has already taken 
possession of the native mind." 

Last, there is the district south of the Bahr el-Ghazal, and west of the 
Equatorial province. Its borders are undefined, but roughly speaking 
they are, in the south, the 2° of N. lat., and the 23° of longitude on the 
east. In this province we find numerous tribes, including the Monbuttus 
and Xiam-Xiams. The chiefs are mostly independent, but they pay a 
tribute in cattle, grain, ivory, wax, and feathers. The country is extremely 
fertile, and the inhabitants are well fitted to make rapid progress towards 
civilisation, under proper government. 

I will not dwell upon the province of Harrar, which lies to the south of 
Abyssinia, as I quite agree with the opinion that it should be given up. 
It has always been a great drain on the treasury, and has indeed been one 
of the chief causes of the financial failure of the Sudan. 

From what has been said, it will at once be seen that the deserts 
between Suakin and Berber, Kordofan and the northern part of Darfur, 
are practically useless for purposes of cultivation, their only value being 
the production of herds of camels, sheep, and goats. It is, however, 
important that the inhabitants should be well disposed and live at peace, 
on account of their position between Egypt, the sea, and the fertile 
Equatorial provinces. 

As I have before indicated, Sennar, the Equatorial, and Bahr el-Ghazal 
districts are extremely fertile, and I have no doubt at all that they could 
be developed rapidly and to a surprising extent. To make this clear to 
you, I must give you a short account of the state of these provinces up to 
the end of 1883, as looked at from a commercial point of view. It must, 
however, be remembered that the Bahr el-Ghazal province had been for 
years a prey to the slave-dealers, and that the Equatorial province had 
received no help from Khartum for five years. There, cotton, indigo, 
sugar-cane, rice, etc., are all being cultivated. Ostrich farms have been 
started, roads made, oxen trained to the yoke ; and the net profit of the 
province for 1882 was £8000 sterling. This was the amount realised 
after the interest of the debt of the province had been paid. In the last 
letter I had from Emin Bey, the Governor (in 1883), he told me that if he 
could only have one or two Europeans to help him, and a small allowance 
from Khartum for a year or two, to enable him to buy seeds and agricul- 
tural implements, he had no doubt that in four or five years he would be 
making a clear profit of over £20,000 a year, and all this not including 
ivory, which was a Government monopoly, and is of course becoming more 
scarce year by year. It is a well-known fact that Africans will trade if 
they can, and that when once they have felt the influence of barter, they 
will use every effort to practise it. That trade can spring up rapidly is 
shown b}' many facts, one or two of which I will adduce to prove my 

Within a year from the time that the late Gessi Pasha had conquered 
the slave-dealers in the Bahr el-Ghazal province, he was able to write, 


'• Many looms are at work making damoor cloth, all worked by young 
Negroes, who have been taught by people from Darfur. The cotton here 
is superior in fineness, softness, and length of staple to that of America 
and Lower Egypt." This I can myself confirm, as I have examined it, and 
seen how luxuriantly the shrubs grow, and how well they bear. Gessi had 
also taught the people to collect caoutchouc, and a huge quantity had 
already been sent to Khartum. Speaking of the Meschera-er-Rek district, 
he said, " It would be easy to produce 10,000 cantars of caoutchouc yearly, 
worth about £75,000 ; whilst the expense would not exceed from £3200 
to £4000." If such results could be obtained in one district, how much 
might not be drawn from the Monbuttu and Niam-Niam lands % There is 
no doubt that cotton and caoutchouc would alone pay for the administra- 
tion of these districts, and copal, palm-oil, arrowroot, incense, gum-arabic 
honey, and wax are procurable in large quantities; also ;my amount of nut 
oil, which would be of use for the steamers, though not of commercial 
value at present in Europe, on account of the cost of transport. In the 
highlands of the Bahr el-G-hazal province, the tea-plant, cinchona, coffee, 
and eucalyptus, could easily be cultivated. Throughout the whole of these 
districts the natives manufacture very good pottery. I ion is also abundant, 
and they display considerable ingenuity in smelting and working it. Their 
knives, spears, arrow-heads, ami bracelets are made in an admirable style, 
although the primitive stone hammer and anvil are employed. They evince 
great aptitude in copying European iron ware, and would adapt any Euro- 
pean instruction, and turn it to advantage in the construction of their own 
implements. It is not to be expected that an immense trade would im- 
mediately spring up with these people ; but were they free, and at liberty 
to indulge in peaceful occupations, it is reasonable to expect that a large, 
permanent, and steady trade would be created. Indeed, Lupton Bey, the 
Governor, reports that he had made a clear profit in 1882 of £60,000. 

I am very desirous of making the cause and commencement of the 
Mahdi's insurrection clear to you. But in order to do so, it will be necessary 
for me, with your permission, to give you a rapid sketch of a chain of 
events which began with the conquest of Darfur in 1874, and culminated 
with the fall of Khartum. In 1874 the Egyptian troops were enabled, 
with the help of the troops under Sebehr Bahama, to conquer Darfur. 
Now Sebehr Pasha was the great slave-dealing ruler who lived in Dem 
Sebehr. For an account of his power and the number of slaves he exported, 
I will refer you to Schweinfurth's heart of Africa. He possessed great 
riches, thousands of slaves, and many troops. For the aid which he had 
given the Egyptian Government he was created a Pasha, but not being 
satisfied with this reward he asked to be appointed Governor of Darfur. 
He well knew that since the slave-trade by the White Nile route had been 
stopped by Gordon Pasha, Darfur was the key to the slave-hunting 
ground ; also that the revenue he could extract from the caravans passing 
through the province, as well as the facilities he would possess as Governor 
for transporting his own slaves at Government cost, would be a source of 


immense piofit. The Government refused liis request, and their refusal 
led to several disturbances, so that at la.^t, with the object of removing 
Sebehr from the Sudan, he Mas requested to proceed to Cairo to explain 
his wishes to the Khedive in person. He saw through this subterfuge, but 
knowing the wonders which baksheesh will work in Egypt, he gathered 
together many valuable presents ami a large sum of money, variously 
estimated, but probably not under £100,000, and called a meeting of his 
fifty captains. He explained to them the object of his journey, told them 
that he believed he wotdd be retained in Cairo, and bound them by a 
solemn oath on the Koran to obey his son Suleiman. He also said that at 
any time he might write and tell them to fulfil the oath made under the 
tree, when they should immediately commence a revolt against the 
Egyptian Government. In due time he arrived in Cairo, and although his 
presents had the effect of winning him many and influential friends, yet 
he was not successful in obtaining the main object of his ambition. He 
therefore planned the first revolt of the slave-dealers in 1ST 7. This revolt 
was soon crushed by Gordon Pasha, who pardoned the ringleaders, but 
this treatment unfortunately only stimulated them to fresh efforts. 

Sebehr Pasha did not fail to support them by all possible efforts in 
Cairo, and he was enabled by means of immense bribes to forward to his 
son, from the Cairo arsenal, cannon, Pemingtons, and large stores of 
ammunition. These arms, by-the-by, I saw myself at Dem Sebehr ; they 
were all marked by the Government stamp. Towards the end of 1878 
Suleiman again received an order from his father to revolt. Gessi Pasha 
was sent against him, and the most sanguinary campaign took place. It 
ended towards the end of 1879, when Suleiman was taken prisoner by 
Gessi and shot. The power of the rebels was completely broken : 47 out 
of the 50 captains were killed in battle, and with them over 15,000 of their 
soldiers fell. Some people have attempted to exonerate Sebehr Pasha 
from all blame in this revolt. I cannot do so, as I saw the letter he wrote 
to his son, ordering it. This letter was sent to Cairo, but baksheesh again 
won the day, and he was pardoned, and remained in Cairo, the friend of 
the Khedive, with a pension of £100 a month. 

Notwithstanding the failure of these two rebellions, Sebehr did not 
lose heart, but his fertile brain conceived and organised a movement in 
the Siidan which was strong enough to break down Egyptian rule and 
even to bid successful defiance to our own arms. 

From the time when Mahomet Ali conquered Khartum the Sudanese 
tribes have been constantly engaged in tribal wars up till 1877, when 
Gordon Pasha managed to pacify them. As I have before mentioned,, 
they are all Mohammedans, and this explains why it was that the former 
revolts instituted by Sebehr Pasha failed, because he at that time intro- 
duced no religious element into the struggles, and although he managed 
to incite first one tribe and then another to rebel, it was comparatively 
easy for Gordon Pasha to re-establish order, as there was no cohesion 
between the tribes, no bond of union to form a common inspiration. But 


when the Madhi, inspired by his friend and protector, Sebehr, introduced 

a religious motive for revolt, the state of matters changed, and instead of 
single action a combined movement was the result. Numerous factors 
combined to bring about the rebellion. I will endeavour to make them 
clear in a few words. 

When the European powers deposed the Khedive Ismail, and Gordon, 
in consequence, lost the unreserved support from Cairo which Ismail hud 
given him, he felt thoroughly disappointed, and, despairing of the success 
of his mission, he resigned his post. He had filled it with such unselfish- 
ness that the Sudanese looked on with astonishment; but his successor 
soon made the poor people feel his loss, by a re-establishment of the old 
system of cruelty, corruption, and heavy taxation. During the time that 

Gordon was in power there was for oner before the \ pie an example of 

a just and righteous ruler, who feared God and disregarded man. His life 
and actions were a manifest proof that all government is not necessarily 
cruel, corrupt, and tyrannical. While he was in the Sudan the burdens 
of downtrodden thousands were lightened. Stern and unrelenting in re- 
pressing evil and cruelty wherever he found them, his heart was tender, 
and he was ready to assist the oppressed, the sad. and the suffering. He 
was looked up to as the Father of his people, feeding the hungry, clothing 
the naked, and setting the prisoner free. The pitiful requests made to me 
at many places on my journey to send him back, prove that his work there 
was not in rain, but that he came as an angel of God, bringing help and 
deliverance: and his memory is enshrined in many hearts as the one 
bright oasis in their otherwise sad existence. 

But, although not in vain, it was but of short duration. Look at the 
Sudan as it was in 1880, when I left it : peace and contentment reigned 
over its whole extent, taxation was equal and just, most of the corrupt 
officials had been removed, and the Equatorial and Bahr el-Ghazal pro- 
vinces, which had been a drain <>n the Sudan exchequer, were beginning 
to pay their way. In 1882 their surplus was nearly £70,000. 

But a few short months were sufficient to bring chaos out of order. 
For Raouf Pasha was appointed as < oirdon's immediate successor ; taxation 
returned with heavy pressure, but it was called the introduction of economy 
in finance. By June 1881 he had filled the treasury to overflowing, 
by the help of the kurbatch and Bashibazuks. The beginning of the 
end had come. All the old grievances returned, but with redoubled force, 
for had not the people tasted liberty and equal-handed justice ? Through 
out the length and breadth of the Aral) and Nubian portion of the Sudan 
acts of cruel and bitter oppression were laying the fires of discontent, which 
needed but the kindling match to make them blaze into the fury of re- 
bellion. Raouf Pasha was busily engaged in feathering his own nest, when 
the appearance of the Madhi upset his rapacious schemes. In July, 1881, 
Mohammed Achmed, the so-called Madhi, applied the match, by appealing 
to the religious fanaticism of the people ; and the insurrectionary spirit 
which had gradually spread among them broke out into open resistance. 


The beginnings of the rebellion, however, were so small that, at the time, 
the}' were allowed to pass unnoticed, and even in Khartum itself they were 
thought to be of little consequence. And, indeed, they might have been, 
if only they had been met prompt]}-, and the causes of the discontent 

It is not my intention to give any account of the Mahdi's rebellion, as 
I take it for granted that you are all more or less acquainted with the 
events that have occupied so much of the public interest dining the last 
two years. But I feel compelled to tell you that the Governments of 
England and Egypt, from the first, knew perfectly well what was occur- 
ring in the Sudan, and therefore have themselves to blame that the 
revolt was not nipped in the bud. The warning letters of the Austrian 
and French Consuls at Khartum, from Emin Bey, from Schweinfurth, 
from Sir Samuel Baker, and from myself, were all alike unheeded. If an 
English Consul had been at Khartum, perhaps he would have been 
believed, and all the bloodshed and misery and the terrible war avoided. 
But the Consul was appointed too late, and, after being delayed several 
months in London by the Foreign Office, he reached Egypt only to find 
the road to Khartum closed against him. 

From the very first, the English Government has separated in its 
deliberations the Sudan from Egypt. How they could conscientiously do 
that, I do not profess to understand, for, however much Egypt may be to 
blame for having annexed the Sudan, the fact remains that it was annexed, 
that it was garrisoned by Egyptian troops, that it had a large and steadily 
growing trade, and that, mainly through England's instrumentality, Sir 
Samuel Baker and General Gordon had been governing it for years, and 
been successful in checking the horrible tribal wars, and in curbing to a 
great extent the slave-trade. After Tel el-Kebir, when England had 
gained a paramount influence in Egypt, the friends of the Sudan rejoiced, 
for they thought that now the hopes of civilisation, and the abolition 
of the slave-trade, which a generation ago it was the pride of our fathers 
to accomplish, would at last be realised ; but how bitter was the disap- 
pointment, how keen the sense of injustice, when we heard the declaration 
of the British Government that the Sudan was " beyond the sphere of 
her intervention," and " outside her interests." Was that true 1 I think 
not. Indeed, in December 1882, Colonel Stewart had told all the notables 
in Khartum that England had determined, with Egypt and Turkey, to 
re-introduce order into the Sudan, and that if the 10,000 soldiers already 
on the road were not sufficient, 50,000 more would be sent, and that the 
people were to remain true to the Egyptian Government. 

But England has not been true to this promise : what more cruel and 
thoughtless action could have been taken than to enforce the advice that 
the Khedive must abandon the Sudan, and to publish abroad its intended 
evacuation 1 

This declaration practically abandoned the garrisons to certain 
massacre, and enhanced the prestige and the power of the Mahdi to a very 


large extent. If it was necessary and right for Egypt to evacuate the 
Sudan, — which I for one do not believe, — could they not have withheld 
their intention from the world, and have given the garrisons private 
instructions to evacuate the country by degrees 1 

The result of their ill-judged action is patent to all the world. It is 
sickening to think of the bloodshed and the loss of life it has entailed, 
culminating in the fall of Khartum — a catastrophe which must bring a 
blush of shame to every honest man's face. My feelings on this subject 
are almost too deep for words, and indeed it is at the present time need- 
less for me to point out how all this might easily have been prevented, as 
it is too late to undo the irretrievable blunders of the past. 

From what I have said you will see that I consider the Sudan should 
be retained, not only on moral grounds, but also because I am convinced 
that its capabilities have been under-estimated, and that it only requires 
an outlet to the sea to enable its vast resources to be utilised by the civi- 
lised world. Xow how is this to be accomplished 1 By a railway. 

I first advocated a railway between Suakin and Berber or Shendy in 
1880, and I am convinced that every one who knows the Sudan will 
agree as to its importance. If the proper route be taken there are hardly 
any engineering difficulties in the way of its construction. In the summer 
of 1882 a syndicate was formed in London for its construction. The 
money was provided, plans were made, and, but for the refusal of the 
Government to allow of its being made, it would have been completed in 
a very short time. It is well known what action the Government have 
recently taken in the matter. Permit me to read a letter of General 
Gordon's on the subject : — 

•• United Service Club, 

nth December 1882. 

" My dear Mr. Wylde, — You ask me my opinion on the subject of a 
railway between Suakin — Berber. 

" Speaking from long experience in the Soudan, I feel convinced that 
until such a communication is made no real progress can be reckoned on 
in those countries. Their being so near Egypt proper, and yet so back- 
ward as they are, is simply owing to the great difficulty existing in getting 
to and from them to the Red Sea ; a belt of arid sand of 280 miles 
separates them from civilisation, and till this is spanned no real progress 
can be made. 

"The Khedive, Ismail Pasha, fully recognised this great point, for, 
as His Highness often told me, he wished the Railway made up the Nile 
simply for the facilities he would then have of supervising the Govern- 
ment of the Soudan, and though the line up the Nile is wrongly chosen, 
yet he was right as to the importance of a regular communication from 
Egypt to the Soudan. There can be not the least doubt but that the 
route, Suakin to Berber, is the true natural route to be opened. 

" Had this route been opened when I was in the Soudan it would have 
been infinitely more simple to have governed those countries. The hidden 


misery of peoples in the dark places of the Soudan exists because no light 
is thrown on those lands, which light this Railway would give ; and it is 
certain, when it is known that the railway is completed, an entire change 
will take place in the whole of this country. 

"As long as the present state of affairs (with no communications) 
exists, there will be revolts and misery, and this will entail many 
thousands per annum on the exchequer of Egypt, for it is certain that 
Egypt cannot throw off the Soudan and allow other countries to lake it. 

"Had I time I could say much more on the subject. I conclude in 
saying that the Railway is a sine gud non for the well-being of the Soudan. — ■ 

Yours sincerely, 

"0. G. GORDON. 
"To Mr. A. B. Wylde, 

"Westfield, Putney." 

Lord Dufferin, in his report on Egypt — " The Reorganisation of Egypt " 
— strongly advocated this railway. He says, " The first step necessary is 
the construction of a railway from Suakin to Berber, or what, perhaps, 
would be still more advisable, to Shendy on the Nile. It would bring 
Cairo within six days and a half of Khartum, the time required to run 
from Suakin to Berber on the Nile being only sixteen hours ; and the 
cost would be under a million and a half. The completion of this enter- 
prise will at once change all the elements of the problem. Instead of 
being a burden on the Egyptian exchequer these Equatorial provinces 
ought to become, with anything like good management, a source of wealth 
to the Government. What has hitherto prevented their development has 
been the difficulty of getting machinery into the country, and of conveying 
its cotton, sugar, and other natural products to the sea." Later on he 
says, in speaking of the abolition of the slave-trade : "If a railway were 
made from Suakin to Berber, it would do more to stop the slave-trade 
than any other measure." The Austrian Consul at Khartum, Herr 
Hansal, who lived twenty-five years in the Sudan, writing from Khar- 
tum, in January 1883, said: "If only England will give her sympathies 
to the Sudan, and will care a little for its prosperity, let her take care 
that a railway is begun without further delay to connect Khartum with 
the Red Sea." But he recommended the route to be taken from Akik on 
the Red Sea to Khartum, because the harbour of Khor Xowarat is the 
finest bay in the Red Sea. It is 4J- miles broad, and about the same long. 
The outer part of this bay is bordered by low sand and coral islands, 
which act as a breakwater, and there are no engineering difficulties 
between Akik and Khartum. 

Colonel Stewart, who was sent by the English Government to report 
on the condition of the Sudan in 1882, also strongly recommended the 
construction of a railway. 

There is no doubt that such a railway, by reducing the cost of trans- 
port, and the length of time in transit, would soon increase the commercial 
importance of the Sudan immensely. It would bring Lado within 


thirty days of the Red Sea, the Bahr el-Ghazal within twenty days, and 
from both these points trade could be carried on by oxen in every direction. 
In fact, to my mind, this is the most feasible way of opening up Central 

It puts Zanzibar quite out of the question (not a small advantage, as 
the Germans have annexed the whole of the fertile country between 
Zanzibar and Tanganyika, and will probably possess Zanzibar itself before 
long; the heir to the present Sultan of Zanzibar is an officer in the 
Prussian army). The Suakin route would probably be a great rival to 
the Congo, though both the Red Sea and the Congo routes Avill pay, there 
being room and capabilities for both. 

I will explain here what extent of river is navigable by steamer from 
Khartum. At all seasons of the year they can pass up to Fazokl on the 
Blue Nile, a distance of 350 miles. On the White Nile they can ply as far 
as Bedden (4° 35' 48" N. latitude, 31° 36' 6" E. longitude), a distance of 
1050 miles from Khartum, where there is a rapid for about half a mile, 
which, however, a little dynamite would make passable. The river is then 
navigable as far as Kerrie (4° 18' 10* N. lat., 31° 40' 28" E. long.), from 
which point to Dufli (30° 34' 35" N. lat., 31° 40' 28" E. long.), a distance 
of about 50 miles, no steam navigation by river will ever be possible ; how- 
ever, a pretty good road already exists, but from Dufli to the south end 
of the Albert Lake, some 250 miles, the river is navigable all the \ ear 
round, and two steamers are now at work on that lake. The river Sobat 
is navigable for steamers for about 300 miles during most of the year. 
From Lake No, the Bahr el-Ghazal and the river Jiir are navigable 
for more than half the year to a point 5° 10' north, 28° east, about 
400 miles, and the Bahr el-Arab, which flows into the Bahr el-Ghazal, 
may be navigated as far as 24° 10' east, 9° 50' north, near to the copper 
mines of Hofrath en-Nahass, a distance of about 500 miles, for seven 
months out of the twelve, whilst the Born, the Sabu, the Chell, and the 
Tango, according to the information of Lupton Bey, can each be navigated 
for fifty miles during five months of the year. From these data will be 
seen the immense extent of country which would be brought within 
steam communication were the Suakin-Bcrber railway made. Nearly 
1700 miles of waterway are navigable during the whole year and 1500 for 
six months out of the twelve. There is no doubt, also, that the caravans 
for the great kingdoms of Bornu and Wadai would be diverted to this 
route, so as to avoid the long and tedious journey through the Sahara from 
the Mediterranean, the route taken at the present time by countless 

Wood for steamers can be procured almost anywhere except near- 
Khartum, and even should it fail there is an unlimited supply of coarse 
grass, which, when properly prepared, makes admirable fuel. 

Permit me to make a few concluding remarks. Many people are of 
opinion that the Sudan should be entirely relinquished, because they 
think that it is an encumbrance to Egypt, and they consider that its 


development is impossible. I think I have already said enough to show 
how mistaken these ideas are, but I should like to add a few words with 
regard to the state of the Sudan finances in 1881. The debt was then 
.£330,000 ; this was caused by the initial cost of the annexation of the 
country, providing steamers, etc., and the amount of money which the 
Sftdan had to pay on account of the proposed Cairo-Khartum railway. 
The yearly deficit was about £72,000, caused by the expense of Harrar, 
the corruption of the officials, and amounts debited to the Sudan account 
by officials in Cairo in order to cook their own balance-sheets. I have 
before mentioned that, in 1882, the Equatorial provinces yielded a revenue 
of £8000, and the Bahr el-Ghazal provinces a clear profit of something like 
£60,000, reducing the deficit for 1882 to £4000, and at that time only a 
few urgent reforms were needed for the Sudan to have become a source 
of profit to Egypt, although it was then in a condition of terrible mis- 

The result of its relinquishment will be very disastrous. In the first 
place, an artificial frontier will have to be constructed at great cost, and 
this frontier must be protected by a large army, which will entail far 
more expense than the cost of ruling the Sudan. The effect will also be 
very disastrous in Egypt itself, and will necessitate our occupation of the 
country for a far longer period than would otherwise be needful, if indeed 
worse evils do not result. 

Secondly, it is impossible to leave the Sudan in the state it was before 
the Egyptians annexed it; its evacuation will cause it to relapse into 
a state of civil war worse than it has ever known, and Khartum will 
once more become the centre of a thriving slave-trade. The people are 
well worthy of something better than this, and have surely suffered enough 
of tyranny and misery in the past. 

The vacillating policy of England has much increased the difficulty of 
arriving at a solution of this great problem, but a definite, firm declaration 
of a decided policy might yet be made to the Sudanese, which would 
quiet their fears and dissipate the spirit of revolt, thus making it once 
more possible to relieve them from the cruel oppression of the past, and 
to raise them to the splendid possession to which they are entitled,. 
— namely, a just and righteous government. 




Translated from the Russian by H. A. Webster. 2 

(Continued from page 169.) 
Population of South-western Turkomania. — In the interior parts 
of South-western Turkomania there are few places adapted for tillage, and 
the country is of importance only for cattle-breeding. Settlements of 
Saryks and Salors, whose "chorva " take advantage of the district between 
the rivers for their herds, are scattered along the Murg-ab and the Heri-rud. 

The Saryks division into Clans. The tribe of the Saryk-Turko- 
mans occupying the oasis of Iol-otan and Pende, is divided into the 
following clans : — Bairadj, Suktis, Alaska. Khorasalli, and Herzekis. To 
the question how many clans they have, the Saryks themselves, however, 
always answer not five but six, because in their arrangements for the dis- 
tribution of land and water, the election of chiefs, etc., the Herzekis are 
reckoned as two clans. 

The method of Government in the oasis was the same as in Merv ; real 
authority there was none ; every one did as he pleased, and only when it 
happened to be absolutely necessary to take some decision affecting the 
whole oasis was the affair settled by the aksakals (elders). As in Merv, 
the power of the khans was nil ; thus in Iol-otan Sary-Khan was a simple 
executor of the regulations of the aksakals ; he possessed no inde- 
pendent authority. Now, all is changed in Iol-otan ; Sary-Khan is at 
present a Russian functionary, and his orders are obeyed as those of a 
Russian authority, not as those of a Turkoman chief. 

The Numerical Strength of the Tribes. — The Saryks themselves 
estimate their numerical strength at 20,000 tents. But in order to appear 
stronger than they are, the Turkomans always exaggerate the real figure 
of the population, and more confidence may be placed in Petrusevich s 
estimate of 12,000 tents, although it is very likely that, when put to the 
test, even this will be found greatly above the mark. Of these 1 2,000 tents 
a third, or about 4000, are settled at Iol-olan, the remainder in Pende and 
on the Kushk, Kash, and Kaisor. Among the Saryks live a small number 
of Jews, the larger part immigrants from Herat, a town to whose college 
the Jews are still accustomed to send their children to be educated. The 
Saryks do not persecute Judaism, but they oppress its followers and 
extract money from them when they are wealthy. 

1 Yugo-Zapadnaya Turkmeniya : Zemti Sarykoff i Saloroff in Izvyestii/o Imp. Russh. 
Geogr. Obshchestva. Tom. xxi., 1885. Read before the Imperial Geographical Society 7th 
(19th) December 1884. 

2 The best thanks of the Editors are due to M. Lessar, who has most obligingly corrected 
the proof of the translation. 


MANNERS and Customs. — In their man ners, customs, occupations, and 
method of life the Saryks differ little from the Tekkes. The inhabitants 
of Pende are perhaps the most nomadic tribe of all the Turkomans ; the 
Mervians already begin to root themselves to the ground, if only with clay 
huts for their guests and the walls of their kale and shekhr. The Saryk 
even yet prides himself on this, that he regards his saddle and his gun as 
his castle. In the triangle between theMurg-ab and the Kushk, the forti- 
fications of Taza and Kegne-Pende were in ruins before the arrival of the 
Saryks. They were not restored, and in the whole oasis there is not a 
single fortification, nor for that matter a single building of the simplest 
description ; all the inhabitants live in settlements of 20, 30, or at times 
as many as 100 tents, standing on completely open and unenclosed ground. 
The mud erections in Iol-otan are only a sort of warehouse. 

In consequence of the development among them of cattledjreeding, the 
Saryks live in abundance ; the more wealthy are masters of several tents. 
The felt cloth is covered on both sides with white linen, which gives the 
tents a trim and clean appearance, distinguishing them very favourably 
from those of the other tribes. The value of a tent is from 300 to 800 
tenge. Within them is great store of carpets and other goods, and even 
the outside of many tents is adorned Avith stripes and very costly 
carpets. Though reed-built cottages covered over with clay are numerous 
in Merv for the poorer classes, in Pende they do not occur at all. 

LANGUAGE. — According to the Turkomans, it is possible to distinguish 
by their speech the Saryks from the Salors or the Tekkes, not to mention th<> 
remoter Iomuds, Yersaris, etc. This is very probable. The individuality 
of each tribe, arising from their continual hostility with each other, has 
certainly led each of them in different degrees to borrow from its neigh- 
bours, as well as to produce forms of expression peculiar to itself. For 
example, the Saryks call a canal nou-klutna and not aryk, jar, jui, or yah 
like the other Turkomans. The proper names especially are different ; the 
great fort in Merv bears among the Saryks the name of Khamhechen, 
which is completely unknown to the Tekkes, who call it Koushut-khan- 
kala or Mary-shigar (Merv town). On that spot, in the time of the Saryks, 
there was a small fort and patch of tilled ground. Medemii Khan for a 
period of twelve years carried on war with the Turkomans, and destroyed 
the place, and it consecptently received the name Khan-hechen, " the Khan 
has passed." The fort known to the Tekkes under the name Porsu-kala 
was erected by the Saryks at the time of the wars with the people of 
Khiva for the protection of the dam Jenaali-bend (now Koushut-khan- 
bend), and with the Saryks it still bears the name Jenaali-bend-kala. 

Raiment. — The dress of the men differs very slightly from that of 
the other Turkoman tribes. Only the place of boots is often taken by 
soft leather socks, above which they wear galoshes from Bukhara, with 


copper heel-pieces. In the house many wear, instead of the Turkoman 
sheepskin cap, woollen cloth flat caps (tyubeteiki) from Bukhara, trimmed 
with a narrow band of fur. 

The women's dress differs somewhat more from that of the Tekkes. 
The chemise and pantaloons are the same as with the Tekkes, except that 
they are almost exclusively blue, while with the latter tribe red is the pre- 
vailing colour. The head-dress is altogether peculiar, and consists of a 
tall felt cap, surrounded half-way up with a thin turban of coloured stuff', 
which then descends behind in a broad veil to the girdle, but is gathered 
up in front to cover the chin. 

Occupation. — The chief occupation of the Saryks is cattle-breeding 
and tillage : trade and industries are but slightly developed ; brigandage 
is completely discontinued from the direction of Iol-otan, and greatly kept 
in check from the direction of Pende. 

As with the other Turkomans, the cattle-breeders are called charted, and 
the husbandmen chomur. 

Cattle-breeding is more largely developed among the Saryks thau 
among any other Turkoman tribe, in spite of the fact that the disturbed 
state of the district has hitherto prevented them using the best pasture 
around Koyun-kui, and obliged them to content themselves with the 
tracts nearest the oasis. The inhabitants of Pende — the wealthiest cattle- 
breeders — feed their flocks on the hills on both banks of the Kushk, and 
even in the interior of Badkhyz, for which they pay to the Afghan 
Governor a tribute of about 6 tenge per 1 00 sheep. 

To the north of Dash-kepri they did not drive their herds further than 
the ford of Yungenli. because of the difficulty of protecting them from the 
Mervian raiders. No use was made of all the pasture-grounds up to 
Kurjukli. That place was the most dangerous in all the steppe : there the 
brigands of all the surrounding tribes roamed. Iol-otan has very few 
inhabitants — only those poor people who have migrated from Pende, 
because they had no cattle, and there was not enough of good ground at 
the junction of the Murg-ab and Kushk. Such small herds as they 
possess, the people of Iol-otan pasture in the neighbourhood of their own 
avis. To defend each herd or flock by special hired servants would not 
pay, and so another system of protection is adopted : at suitable points 
they secretly station scouts, whose duty it is to follow the movements of 
the robbers. In case of an attack these hasten to communicate with the 
oasis, where the people prepare a pursuing party corresponding to the 
strength of the alaman. It is impossible to drive the cattle quickly, and, 
consequently, a successful "lifting "is seldom accomplished; generally the 
affair is confined to the carrying off of horses, arms, and stragglers. 
The Saryks' sheep are of a very good breed ; pasture is excellent through- 
out the steppe ; and thus, in spite of troublous times, the Saryks are the 
wealthiest of the Turkoman tribes : some have as many as 1000 sheep, 
the most opulent — bai — as many as 2000 sheep and 60 to 70 camels. 

VOL. I. q 


Now that the country has been fully pacified, a great part of the 
flocks will feed on the northern slopes of the Elbiryn-kyr. The scarcity 
of wells does not form an obstacle : for a part of the time the flocks drink 
from the river, until the herbage in its vicinity is consumed ; then they 
are removed to the wells : even in summer the sheep need only be watered 
once every four or five days ; in the interval the moisture in the grass is 

Husbandry is in a worse state among the Saryks than sheep-breeding. 
As in other low-lying parts of Central Asia, the ground produces nothing 
without irrigation ; and in Pende this presents great difficulties. Almost 
everywhere the valleys of the Murg-ab and its affluents are lacking in 
breadth : and the hills that confine them, though comparatively low, pre- 
vent all canal-works, except at the cost of extensive erections ; and con- 
sequently, since the expulsion of the Salors, the Saryks have occupied all 
the valleys. 

The principal canals for the irrigation of Pende are drawn from the 
Murg-ab : but the banks at that place are not suitable for the construction 
of a dam, and the Saryks content themselves with small canals supplied 
by the natural current of the river ; only when the water is very low they 
raise its level by constructing, at the outflow of the western canals, a little 
below Meruchak, temporary barriers of stone and brushwood, which are 
carried off by the floods in spring. The first part of this canal is separated 
from the bed of the river by a dam called Bend-i-Nadiri, formerly erected 
by the Chorshangy-Yersaris, who lived there before the Salors. 

Besides the obstacles presented by the local physical conditions, 
there are other reasons why the Saryks do nothing more satisfactory for 
the irrigation of Pende — the indefiniteness of their position, the fear of 
attacks by the Afghans, who can compel the Saryks to move off northward, 
and more especially the absence of all settled order in the tribe itself. 

Under such circumstances only the very lowest part of the valley, to a 
breadth of 200 to 300 sazhen (1400 to 2100 feet) is irrigated; elevated 
areas of 3 sazhen (21 feet) are beyond the reach of the water. The 
canals of the right bank of the Murg-ab are used by the Bairadj and 
Alasha clans, those of the left bank by the Suktis, the Khorassalis, and the 

Formerly the Saryks used the water taken from the Murg-ab, near 
the fort Bala-Murg-ab, when every year they formed the temporary 
embankment of Band-i-joukara ; quite recently the Afghans drove the 
Saryks out of Bala-Murg-ab, and their tilled ground is now occupied by 
Jemshidis and Khazare (Hazara). At the time of General Grodekoff's 
journey through Kalei-Vali, that fort was unoccupied and lay in ruins; at 
present Saryk-Khorassali are in possession of it. From the Eiver Kash 
also small canals are derived by the Herzeki clan. As was mentioned 
above, the Kash sometimes dries up in summer, and consequently the 
utilising of it is exposed to risks ; and even in favourable circumstances it 
does not vield much water. 


In spite of a similar danger from desiccation, the river Kushk is of 
more importance for the oasis, having abundance of water in spring, and 
after rain has fallen in the mountains, canals are drawn off by tbe Soktis 
and Khorassali from Chil-Dukhter along its whole valley as far as the 
oasis of Pende, about 20 versts (13 miles) to the south of Dash-kepri. 
The Saryks do not live all the year round near these cultivable districts ; 
only the dekhkany (husbandmen), who have their families in Pende, 
repair thither for sowing their seed and reaping the harvest. Small 
strongholds have been built by them at certain points in the valley. 

To the north of the Herzekis the Suktis draw off* a few canals, the most 
important of which goes along the left bank of the river by the Dash- 
kepri aqueduct, and irrigates the cultivated lands up to Yungenli ford. 

But all the country described above was insufficient for the Saryks ; 
they say plainly that in Pende the irrigated ground is too little ; there 
only wealthy sheep-breeders and raiders could live. The restoration of the 
former irrigation works between Yungenli and Iol-otan was rendered impos- 
sible by the disturbed state of the steppe, and consequently ten years after 
the capture of Pende, the poorest part of the population, having no flocks, 
and consequently risking little, determined, by agreement with the people 
of Merv, to take possession of the ruins of Iol-otan, a fortress abandoned 
by the Salors. Forty-five versts (30 miles) above this point they built the 
dam of Bend-i-Kazakhly, from which a canal branches off to water the 
oasis of Iol-otan ; opposite Char-bag this canal splits into two parallel 
arms, which are carried almost all the way to Merv. The smaller sub- 
divisions are not constant, and in them the water is only admitted accord- 
ing to the requirements of the ground actually sown. The width of the 
large canals is 3 sazhen (21 feet), of the single canal running to Char-bag, 
4 sazhen (28 feet) ; the depth is from 1 to 1\ arshins (2 to 3£ feet). The 
whole oasis of Iol-otan consists of a narrow belt, rarety more than 2 versts 
broad, stretching from Kazakhly almost to Merv. that is, for a distance of 
well-nigh 60 versts (40 miles). On the right it is bounded by the river, 
on the left by the sands, which alternately run down to the river in spurs, 
or retire from it in bays. The canals pass along the edge of the sands, or 
even at times strike across them. The cultivated portion of the Iol-otan 
oasis begins only at Char-bag, and continues to the ruins of Tal-khatan- 
baba, where it marches directly with the arable land of Merv. 

Besides the main canal, there are in the inundation area near Iol-otan 
small cultivated areas, the water for which is raised from the level of the 
river by water-wheels (chigirs), of the same structure as those employed 
in Khiva. 

There is no doubt but that after the complete pacification of the dis- 
trict, an important part of the inhabitants of Pende will migrate to the 
north, and take possession of all the unoccupied country on the Murg-ab, 
especially near Iol-otan, where the soil is very good, and excellent pasture 
is found near at hand. 

In the oases of Pende and Iol-otan the principal crops are wheat, jugar 


(sorghum), bailey (a very small quantity), rice (of excellent quality), 
sesamum, yurunja (lucern), cotton (very little). Of kitchen-gardening 
there j, is not much. In Iol-otan and Pende there are absolutely no 

Though the Avhole success of the husbandry depends on irrigation, it 
is among the Saryks, as among the other Turkomans, in the very lowest 
stage of development. Among the other nations of Central Asia there is 
an absence only of theoretical knowledge in this department ; among the 
Turkomans there is very little evidence of practical skill either in the 
making or the maintenance of canals. The constructors of irrigation 
works, called pyanjvars, are in general extremely inexpert. 

A place for the erection of a dam, or the mouth of a canal, is chosen at 
a bend of the river, in order to take advantage of the direction of the cur- 
rent ; then the canal is laid down by turning to account the remains of 
previously existing and now abandoned works, of which there are many 
almost everywhere. If there happen to be no such old works, the direc- 
tion of the canal is left to guessing and trying. Having no knowledge of 
levelling, the Turkomans are never sure that the water will go where they 
wish ; consequently they dig the canals, beginning at the river, in small 
sections, into which they immediately admit the water. They have no 
idea how to give a slope corresponding to the nature of the ground ; this 
the water itself does in the long run, by undermining the banks, and in- 
creasing the length of the canal by sinuosities. And they even neglect to 
keep the banks and dams of the canal in repair ; a considerable portion of 
the water escapes, and forms extensive pools, especially in the Merv oasis ; 
by this means, besides the waste of water, good land is ruined, if not for 
ever, at least for a very long time ; the salt left behind on the evaporation 
of the water turns the soil into a salt marsh, of no use for tillage. 

The outlets for the water are almost never sufficient ; when the level 
rises the water does not pass through them, and the dam is destroyed. If 
the dam is too solid, so that the water cannot make its way through it, it 
turns the flank of the works, which is seldom a matter of difficulty, since 
the banks are not strengthened in the neighbourhood of the dams. "When 
the water rises, the guard at the dam makes the fact known in the settle- 
ment ; several hundred, or it may even be two or three thousand, men 
make their appearance, and begin a contest with the water ; everything 
is done utterly at random, and there is hardly a dam which does not burst 
every five or six years. 

It is evident with how little economy the water is distributed, how 
defective the system of irrigation is as a whole, and how in great part 
the results are small, in spite of the great expenditure of labour. 

The works for irrigation are of the most primitive construction. As 
already stated, in the oasis of Pende there are no dams in order to raise the 
level of the water and direct it into the canals. AVhen the stream is low, 
they make, both at Bend-i-joukara and on the Kushk, temporary barriers 
of stones and brushwood, which require to be restored every year. 


The aqueduct of Dash-kepri was built at the time when the Arabs 
were masters of the district. It consists of nine pointed arches, and has 
the following dimensions : — Each span is 1*8 sazhen (12} feet), the thick- 
ness of the pillars, 1*15 sazhen (8 feet), the whole length of the aque- 
duct, 30 sazhen (210 feet), the height from the water level to the top of 
the parapet, 2-45 sazhen (17 feet). The canal which passes overhead is 
5 arshin broad and \\ arshin deep. In appearance the aqueduct is clumsy 
and low-set; owing to its small elevation, the pointed arches begin almost 
in the bed of the river, and are very ugly. The mortar was made with 
sarytch, a kind of cement mixture, in which they put ashes, salt, and even 
eggs, to increase its hydraulic properties ; but it has not preserved the 
aqueduct from ruin. Several of the arches have fallen ; the whole is pre- 
served only by additions, of massive dimensions, to all parts of the 

The Saryks tried to turn the aqueduct into a dam, but as there was no 
outlet, the water rose and threatened to surround it or carry it off, and ><> 
the obstruction was removed. 

The dam of Bend-i-Kazakhlv, supplying water to the canals of Iol-otan 
and Kyrjukli, is built of earth and brushwood ; the sluice for the passage 
of the flood-water, which does not enter the canal, is of stones and fascines, 
and thus requires continual inspection and repair. During the time of the 
Saryks, i.e. in the last seventeen years, the dam has three times been 
carried off by floods; and on one occasion the people of Merv burned 
the fascines. 

The canal from Kazakhly to Char-bag was made by the Salors ; at that 
time the river at this place flowed in another channel, which was also 
crossed by a dam diverting the water into the canal ; the floods turned 
the flank of the dam, and hollowed out a new channel, which joined the old 
one at Baba-kember : the Saryk dam was placed in this new channel. 
The water flows at first in the old channel up to the embankment situated 
on the site of the Salor dam, and thence along the old canal ; the declivity 
of the bed is very considerable, and if it had been kept clear throughout 
the whole extent it would have been possible to do without the dam alto- 
gether. With this object in view, the Saryks attempted to remove the 
starting-point of the canal higher up ; an immense aryk was dug, but an 
unfortunate direction having been given to it, it ended in the sands, and 
was abandoned. 

Trade. — As, on the one hand, the Saryks have hardly any wants in 
consequence of their poverty and low state of civilisation, and as, on the 
other hand, communication with the neighbouring countries is difficult, it 
is easy to understand the small extent of their trade. 

The Saryks in Iol-otan receive cotton prints, iron, kettles, tea, and 
silk mainly from Bukhara, and robes from Khiva. From Herat they 
bring also tea, silk, sugar-candy, indigo (the last for Bukhara and Khiva). 

In Pende the articles of trade are nearly the same ; but owing to the 


terrible dangers of the road from Iol-otan to Pende the former settlement 
procures its wares mainly from Bukhara, the latter from Herat. 

From Bukhara they also bring small articles of cabinet-work and other 
wooden wares, coffers, doors for their tents, etc., and from Khiva frame- 
works for their tents. When the Kushk and Kash dry up early in the 
year, or, as often happens in Pende, the harvest proves a failure, or it may 
be from various other causes, grain is purchased in considerable quantities 
in Merv or Herat. 

The principal exports from the two oases are sheep (to Bukhara), 
horses and camels (to Herat). The price of the largest sheep is from 20 
to 25 tenge. The wood growing on the Murg-ab is felled and floated down 
for sale at Merv, where a good tree fetches 6 to 7 krans. At Bend-i- 
Kazakhly the rafts are loosened and carried over to the other side of the 
dam ; for this the guards take a tax in kind, one tree from so man}-, 
employing what they receive for repairing the dam and the bridge at Iol- 

The rice grown in Pende is famous in all the surrounding countries as 
the best, and it is exported to Herat, Persia, and Merv. 

In the hills on the banks of the Murg-ab and the Kushk foxes are 
caught, the skins of which are sold at Bukhara for 36 to 40 kran the 

The following productions of the Saryks are exported. The first place 
belongs to the carpets : in pattern they are somewhat different from those 
of Merv, and in quality they are not so good, on account of the mixture of 
cotton and the absence of silk ; in the oasis there are no mulberry-trees 
and no silk-growing. The cost of the carpets is almost the same as those 
of Merv. Cow-hair felts are made in considerable quantity in Pende : a 
piece five arshin long and about three wide (12 by 7 feet) costs 20 krans. 
From the soft hair of young camels (one or two years old) they make a 
beautiful stuff for gowns ; one woman can make in the course of a year 
one piece about nine arshin (21 feet) long and from 14 to 15 vershoks 
broad (21 by 26 inches). This stuff fetches a very high price in Persia and 
Herat : a piece of it costs 200 to 300 krans ; none of the Saryks are rich 
enough to wear gowns of this kind. A cheaper stuff of the same sort 
(80 krans the piece) is made of sheep's wool ; it is white. The other 
products of Saryk industry serve only to satisfy local needs. 

In consequence of the unsettled state of the country, commercial traffic 
can only be maintained by taking great precautions. For the protection 
of a caravan of 100 camels, it is necessary to employ fifty to sixty 
footmen (mergeni), at a pay of 50 tenge as far as Char-jui. To Bukhara 
the journey lasts five to seven days with camels and twelve days with 
sheep, in great part by the road through Bepetek, which is considered the 
best ; it is sufficiently provided with water, and the quantity of sand along 
this route is not great ; traffic is also greatly interfered with by the raids 
of the Mervians and Yersaris. The difficulty of communication tells on the 
price of goods : a piece of red cotton stuff, 56 arshin broad, costing 38 


tenge in Bukhara, is sold for 60 at Pende. A pound of sugar costs 60 

In the markets held twice a week mainly local products are sold : 
objects obtained from other districts are sold in shops by the Jews, who 
number about twenty men, in Iol-otan ; they hold in their hands the whole 
transit trade between Herat and Bukhara; Iol-otan has been a very suitable 
entrepot on account of the friendly relations of its inhabitant- with Pende, 
and their more or less peaceful relations with the Mervians. 

Up to the present time the coins which circulate among the Saryks 
have been mainly the Bukhara tenge (four of which are equal to a credit 
ruble = 2 shillings), and the old Persian krans (about 30 kopecks). Even 
in the spring of the present year they had neither the new Persian krans 
(40 kopecks) nor paper money. 

The Salors. — According to the investigations of General Petrusevich, 
the Salors are divided into three clans or tribes — Eapchags, Dazardu- 
Khoja, and Karaman-Yalavach. In the neighbourhood of Old Serakhs 
there are now about 3000 tents (the Salors themselves estimate 4000) ; 
besides these there are about 1000 on the Murg-ab (between the Mervians 
and the Saryks), at Char-jui 400, at Maimene 200, and near Herat and 
Pul-i-Salar about 100 houses. 

The Salors are the poorest and weakest of the Turkoman tribe-: all 
live in reed huts plastered with clay ; the)' have hardly any flocks, ami 
very few horses and cattle; they have long given up engaging in raids, 
and agriculture is now almost their only occupation. Their settlements 
are scattered, partly at Old Serakhs, partly at the ruins of Koushut-kale ; 
for irrigation they use canals, beginning at Doulet-abad, the water in 
which is diverted by temporary dams, renewed every year when the floods 
subside. The system of irrigation is just as imperfect as that of the 
Mervians and Saryks. 

Historical Sketch. — At the close of the eighth decade of the last 
century, 1 after Merv was destroyed by the Emir Maasum of Bukhara 
and its inhabitants were removed, partly to Bukhara, partly to Mesh-hed 
and Herat, the country on the Murg-ab, near Bairam-Ali-kala, was taken 
by the Turkoman Saryks, and it continued in their power till the middle 
of the present century, and was the centre from which they made 
excursions into all the neighbouring regions, not excepting those occupied 
by the Turkoman tribes. 

For the irrigation of their lands they constructed the dam of Jenaali- 
bend, not far from the one that still exists ; it was frequently destroyed 
by the floods, and sometimes by the enemies of the Saryks. 

1 Some information about the more ancient history of those countries is given by 
Sir H. Rawlinson iu Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, Jan. 7, 1883. 


In the close of the second decade of the present century the Saryks 
submitted to the Khan of Khiva, and this was still the state of matters in 
1839, as Abbott bears witness. The Turkomans frequently rose against 
the people of Khiva, and war was carried on with great pertinacity under 
Medemii Khan, who almost every year undertook campaigns against the 
rebels. On all the roads from Khiva to Merv and Atek, and along the 
Murg-ab to Pende and thence to Serakhs, the traces of those expeditions 
are still to be seen ; in the sands there is an uninterrupted line of the 
bones of beasts of burden, in other parts at every march they point out 
the khandeks of Medemii Khan, i.e. the entrenchments with which the 
people of Khiva surrounded their camps. 

At the time of those wars a fortress was built near the dam of Jenaali- 
bend, the ruins of which are known to the Tekkes under the name of 

At first the expeditions of Medemii were successful, but the last of 
them, in 1855, against the Tekkes, who lived at Old Serakhs, ended in 
complete disaster ; the Khan himself was slain, and the people of Khiva 
fled, not only from Old Serakhs, but also from Merv. 

Almost immediately after this, the Tekkes, pressed on by the Persians, 
advanced under Koushut Khan from Serakhs to Merv, and, after a two 
years' contest, drove the Saryks to Pende, whence the latter in their turn 
expelled the Salors. In consequence of the deficiency of cultivable ground 
in Pende, as already explained, and the difficulties attending its irrigation, 
ten years after the capture of Pende, the poorest part of the Saryks took 
possession of Iol-otan (1867). 

In the beginning of the third decade of the present century we find 
the Salors at Old Serakhs. That point was considered very important ; 
for it both the Khan of Khiva and the Emir of Bukhara contended. 
When Abbas Mirza decided to confirm the power of the Shah from 
Khorassan to the Oxus, the first thing he thought imperative was to 
capture Serakhs. 

Although the Salors who lived there did not make raids themselves, 
they supplied arms to the enemies of Persia, and received in exchange for 
that service Persian captives, part of whom they kept in the quality of 
slaves, while they sold others to Khiva and Bukhara. Altogether there 
were about 3000 Shiite slaves in Serakhs. 

In 1832 Abbas Mirza demanded the surrender of Serakhs, and when 
the inhabitants did not come to terms he took it by assault. The place 
was pillaged, and a great part of the people massacred. The remainder, 
about 5000 men, were ransomed by the Khan of Khiva for 50,000 tumans, 
and undertook the duty of protecting the Persian frontier against the 
Tekkes and Saryks. This last arrangement was not carried out. 

After this destruction the Salors withdrew from the banks of the 
Heri-rud to the middle course of the river Murg-ab, and built there Taza- 
Pende and the extensive fortress of Iol-otan, the ruins of which are now 
occupied by the Saryks. From Pende they drove out the Yersaris who 


were living there (the Chorshangi tribes), and who removed to Shibir-khan 
and Balkh. 

The ruin of the Salors was so thorough that they have never been able 
to recover. "When twenty-five years afterwards the Saryks made their 
appearance in those lands, they met hardly any opposition; the Salors 
migrated, with the permission of the Persian authorities, to Zur-abad. Jn 
the mountains of Zur-abad there is abundance of water, but the streams 
flow through narrow gorges, and there is no room for tillage ; at Zur-abad 
itself the plain suitable for tillage is not large, and to supplement the 
scanty supply of water the people have to make shift with aryks from 
the underground channels, as the forming of canals from the Heri-rud 
would present difficulties of too serious a nature. Consequently, after 
twelve years' residence there, the Salors began to ask for the right bank 
of the Heri-rud to Old Serakhs. The Persians agreed, but demanded that 
they should undertake the maintenance of the cordon for the protection of 
the Persian frontier against the Saryks and the Mervians. The latter. 
angry at this conduct on the part of the Salors, earned off all their live- 
stock, and agreed to restore them to the owners only on condition that 
the whole tribe migrated to Merv ; which actually took place. There 
the very few who possessed flocks betook themselves to stock-raising ; a 
portion engaged in agriculture, and for the use of land and water paid a 
fourth of the crops to the Merviana ; but the majority — the poor — became 
at once labourers for the Merviana. 

In 1881, by the advice of Tvkma-sirdar, the Mervians determined to 
keep the Salors no longer, but to send them back to their old quarters. 
To the number of more than 2000 tents they appeared at Serakhs, asking 
permission of the Persian authorities to settle there. Instead of that, 
partly by corruption of the elders and parti} - by promise of assistance, the 
ruler of Khorassan succeeded in settling the btilk of the Salors at Zur-abad, 
that they might form a cordon along the Heri-rud against the attacks of 
the Saryks and the Mervians. From Pul-i-khatun to Zur-abad, and 
further to the south along the bank of the river, the Salors took possession 
of all places suitable for tillage. A small number of houses besides were 
left at Old Serakhs. 

The relations of the Salors to the Persians were very unfriendly. For 
the same cause as formerly, the nomads did not like the mountainous 
districts about Zur-abad. And the Persians built a fortress there, intro- 
duced a garrison and guns, and did not refrain from oppressing the settlers. 
In consequence of this, immediately after the capture of Koushut-kala 
(near old Serakhs) by the Russian armies, all the Salors in Zur-abad 
joined those living at that place, and at the present time about 3000 tents 
of this tribe are gathered on the right bank of the Heri-rud. 

The Relations of the Saryks to their Neighbours. — The order 
and methods of management introduced by the Saryks into the lands they 
occupied have been maintained almost without change from the beginning 


of the settlement to the present time. On the other hand the relations of 
the Saryks to their neighbours, the Turkomans of other tribes, the Persians, 
and the Afghans, have been essentially changed last year, mainly on account 
of two events — the capture of Geok-tepe (12th January 1881) and the 
capture of Merv (3d March 1884). 

The relations of the Saryks to the Tekkes were always hostile. The 
contest for possession of the Merv oasis brought the mutual hatred of the 
tribes to the highest pitch, and to the present time the Saryks cannot 
reconcile themselves to the thought of the loss of the fertile region of the 
lower Murg-ab. When I passed through Pende in the spring of the present 
year, many declared that now that the Eussians had taken Merv it would 
be just to drive the Tekkes thence to the lands formerly occupied by them 
in Atek, and near Serakhs, and to restore Merv to the Saryks. 

At the time of the expedition of the Persians against Merv in 1860, the 
Saryks sided Avith the assailants, and ever since, down to the most recent 
times, the most persistent war was carried on between the two tribes, 
expressing itself, of course, not in any feats of arms, but, after Turkoman 
fashion, in a series of raids. The raiders of the two tribes went their own 
ways, so as not to meet each other, and attacked only unarmed people on 
the frontiers of the oasis, flocks, and caravans. Mervians went by the road 
to Serakhs as far as Kel-gouz or Niyaz-abad, and thence by Adam-elan, 
Ak-robat, to Pende. The Saryks generally kept by the river Murg-ab. 

In the Kara-kum they rarely went further north than the road from 
Bukhara to Merv and Serakhs, although sometimes attacks took place near 
Dert-kui and Karry-bend. On the road just named, however, the appearance 
of the Saiyks was a very common occurrence, and greatly hindered the 
development of the trading relations of Bukhara with Merv and Persia. 
In view of all this, the statement that the Saryks of Pende assisted the 
Tekkes at the time of the siege of Geok-tepe, is not likely to be true ; if 
the Saryks did take part in the hostilities, it was probably the inhabitants 
of Iol-otan. 

These latter were in considerable dependence on the Mervians ; they 
could not even occupy the northern oasis without the consent of the 
Tekkes ; and at the present time many people in Merv sj:>eak of the Iol- 
otanians with disdain, saying that Iol-otan is the pesh-hesh (= present), 
which Nur-verdy Khan and Koushut Khan gave to the Saryks. The fields 
of the Saryks ran side by side with the fields of the Mervians, but for all 
that the relations between them were very undefined, such as are possible 
only in Asia ; whilst some of the inhabitants would meet each other to 
engage in trade, others would go to the same place to steal horses, sheep, 
camels. Of course this could not remain unknown, and drew forth reprisals 
from the injured parties, and the war was prolonged, but only clandestinely. 
In relation to their other neighbours, Iol-otan and Pende maintained a 
continual alliance ; the people of the two places went in company against 
Yersaris, Persians, and Afghans. The alliance of Iol-otan andJVIerv was 
best expressed at the capture of the latter city by the Russian armies : the 


people of Iol-otan fully recognised the impossibility of separate existence, 
and on the advance of our detachment from Karry-bend, applied to the 
Mei vians proposing to unite the destiny of the two nations ; and when 
the oasis was taken, they at once asked to be admitted as subjects of 

The capture of Merv exercised great influence on the relations of the 
Pendians to the Mervians ; the latter completely gave ap their robberies ; 
the Pendians, on their side, perceive that attacks on Russian subjects do 
not go unpunished, and at present all is quiet on the Murg-ab. The 
Yersaris in their incursions advanced to the Murg-ab, and drove away 
thence the flocks of the Saryks ; that is the cause why flocks were not kept 
on the right bank either by the inhabitants of Iol-otan, or even by those 
who lived further to the east. 

The relations of the Saryks with the Salors were the same as with the 
.Mervians and the Yersaris. Wherever the Saryks lived they always kept 
the eastern part of Persia in alarm; after they were driven south, about 
the middle of the century, the radius of their ravages was changed, and it 
was mainly the provinces of Jam, Bakharz, and Seistan which began to 
suffer ; they did not venture to attack the northern parts of Khorassan, for 
fear of meeting with the Mervians. For their plunderings the Persians 
avenged themselves by several invasions, sometimes of a very serious 
character — for example, the expedition in 1877 from Turbet Sheikh-i-Jam 
against the oasis of Pende ; on that occasion they carried off as many as 
100,000 .-beep from the Saryks. 1 

The Persians, however, never attempted to take radical measure- for 
holding the Saryks in check, and establishing their own power on the right 
bank of the Heri-rud ; even on the left bank of that river between Doulet- 
abad and Kusan their authority was merely nominal. General Petrusevich 
visited those parts in the close of the seventh decade of the present 
century, that is, immediately before the subjugation of Akhal, and he has 
very carefully described the condition of affairs at that time in that part 
of Persia.'- " In the triangle formed by the river Keshaf-rud, a straight 
line from Mesh-hed to the frontier from Herat (along it passes the road 
from Mesh-hed to Herat), and the river Heri-rud from the junction of the 
Keshaf-rud to the Herat frontier, there was formerly, according to the 
elder-' accounts, an immense population ; in the single district of Pyass-i- 
kukh-i-jam (it was included in the mountainous region lying to the left 
of the Heri-rud round about Zur-abad) were counted 460 villages, of which 
only 20 remain, and these solely owing to their nearness to Mesh-hed; 
the others were annihilated by the invasions of the Bukhariots and 
Khivans, and more especially the subsequent attacks of the Turkomans, 
which have not yet ceased. 

" The whole triangle above described I had the opportunity of visiting, 

1 Details may be found in the Report by General Petrusevich, Zopiski Karkaskago 
Otdyela, I.R.G.O. vol. xi. Part I. pp. 40 and 41. 
- Ibid. pp. 91-93. 


and I was convinced that not only was there no settlement on the Heri- 
rud, hut there was none in the vicinity of the river. 

"On the Keshaf-rud the last settlement is the village of Shadiche, 
distant r>0 versts from Mesh-hed. Beyond that, and further to the north, 
there is no settlement, although there are not a feAv ruins of former vil- 
lages : hut for the protection of the inhahitants from sudden raids there 
i< situated at the beginning of the Ak-derbend, through which the Keshaf- 
rud makes its way, and 40 versts from the village of Shadiche, the unim- 
portant fortress of Ak-derbend, with a garrison of fourteen Shamkhcdchi 
(militia), and at a distance of 20 versts, in the half-destroyed wall 
of the village of Bag-i-bagan, is a post of four Sham-khalchi. On the 
direct road south from the village Shadiche, near the place called Olengi 
Shakhi, there are six hamlets — Sideimani, Arrau, Jelal-abad, Jez-abad, 
Kelmesan, and Heiamei, with altogether 100 houses, and occupied 
by the Sistani and Merdi tribes. These six hamlets form an altogether 
peculiar settlement, distinguished from the other settlements in Khorassan 
by their advanced position, owing to which the villages are more exposed 
than others to the plundering parties of the Turkomans. This is the most 
eastern settlement in Khorassan, and to the south of Mesh-hed all the popu- 
lation is distributed along the road going to Herat. To the east of this road 
there is not a single settled spot, so that, although the Persians consider 
the Heri-rud as their boundary, they not only have no settlements on 
that river, but no guards or any military posts, except the great fortress 
of Serakhs, and, 15 versts (10 miles) further down the stream, the fort of 
Doulet^abad, where there ought to be 20 Sham-khalchi, but in reality 
there are only six. It is true, they say that the Sertip (colonel) Ali Merdan 
Khan-Teimuri is bound to maintain a mounted patrol on the left bank 
of the Heri-rud ; but in my journey, at those very places where one ought 
to have met the patrols, not only did I not see any, but I observed no 
traces of any, although Ave passed a small party of Tekkes who had been 
plundering on the frontiers of Herat and Khorassan, and after us, on the 
Keshaf-rud, a considerable party fell in with thirty Sham-khalchi, who 
were going to relieve the Sham-khalchi guard of the fort of Muzderan, 
on the direct route from Mesh-hed to Serakhs. 

" Thus the real frontier on the east lies, not on the Heri-rud, but further 
west, from the fortress of Serakhs to the fort at Doulet-abad, whence it 
bends a little to the south-west, to the deserted fort Shurje, and after that 
to fort Ak-derbend, and so up the valley of the Keshaf-rud to the village 
of Shadiche. From this village it runs due south to the group of six 
hamlets near Olengi Shakhi, whence it passes to the upper regions of the 
river Jam, at the settlement of Feri-mun. After that it follows the course 
of the Jam to the little town of Turbet-i-Sheikh-i-Jam, thence along the 
great caravan route to Mukhsin-abad and Keriz, beyond which population 
ceases on the eastern frontier for a considerable distance. The points 
enumerated form the limit of the Persian right of possession, or of the 
eastward extension of population in Khorassan." 


It is well known what a change was made in the relations of the Per- 
sian authorities to the Turkoman Tekkes by the Russian capture of Geok- 
tepe. By the close of 1881 began a whole series of attempts to occupy 
places not previously possessed by Persia ; in Baba-durmas was under- 
taken the restoration of the abandoned Turkoment fort, the fields on the 
Atek plain were sown, and the fortress of Rukn-abad, on the right bank 
of the Tejen, was erected. 

But in the districts near the Sank settlements the Persians did not 
dare to act so decidedly. This tribe did not suffer from the capture of 
Geok-tepe, and continued in its former activity. In the beginning of 1882 
the Persians in Serakhs asserted to me that the right bank of the Heri-rud 
was inaccessible on account of the raids of the Saryks ; but in the autumn 
of the same year the commandant of Zur-abad reported that he sent 
patrols from Zulfagar to Keriz-Iliyas ; the Salors in this fort, when 
questioned about the matter, laughed at this boasting of the Khan ; " \Ye 
do not go there, but," said they, "the Persians have never ventured to do 
this." The horsemen stationed at Mokhsyn-abad also declared that their 
patrols were confined to the left bank of the river. 

After the aj>pointment of the commandant Ali Merdan Khan to Saryks, 
the Persians began to act more decidedly, and, taking advantage of the 
effects produced by the advance of the Russian army to Merv, they began 
to send patrols to the right bank of the river. These patrols, of course, 
were neither legitimate nor constant. The Persian horsemen slipped in 
secretly, followed the movements [of the robbers, and, in case of their 
approach, warned the inhabitants of the left bank, generally without 
themselves entering into the contest, as the composition of the patrol was 
always very insignificant ; in the raiding-bands (alamans), on the other 
hand, not less than ten to twenty men usuall} r took part. It is necessary 
to mention that those patrols also constitute the whole system of defence of 
the Persian possessions ; on the right bank of the Heri-rud they not only 
have no posts, but they will not be able to establish any till the complete 
pacification of the district — i.e. till the subjection of the people of Pende 
(Panj-deh) to Russia, Avithout the construction of fortified places for 
defence from the raids of the Saryks and storing of provisions ; a small 
post would be destroyed, or at least plundered by the nomads. The pre- 
sence of the Russians in Iol-otan does not prevent the people of Pende 
from raiding in Seistan and Bakhars, and in the spring of this year they 
still went forth. 

All the talk about posts is the result mainly of the boasting of the 
Persian authorities on the frontier, and to some extent of the misappre- 
hension arising from the confusion of our ideas about posts, patrols, and 
pickets with what passes under this name in Asia. 

As regards the relations of the inhabitants of Southern Turkomania to 
the authorities of Kabul and Herat, the Yersari tribe (Chorsangi clan), 
who occupied the middle part of the Murg-ab before the Salors, and 
afterwards the Salors, who drove them out in the beginning of the third 


decade, had no dealings with the Afghan rulers. In 1839 Abbot, travelling 
along the Kushk and Murg-ab, by the road from Herat to Khiva, states 
that the Jarashidis did not venture to settle below Kara-tepe ; shepherds 
from Meir, however, came to feed their flocks there ; at Kalei-i-mor the 
authority of the Kharezmian Khan began. 

The last Afghan settlements were Kusan and Bala-Murg-ab ; near 
some of the passes across the Borkhut Mountains still are seen remains of 
the watch-towers (Karuan-ashan) abandoned by the Afghans at the time 
of the disorders accompanying the siege of Herat by the Persians in 1839 ; 
from that period those towers have neither been restored nor occupied. 

The Afghans have never interfered with affairs on the Murg-ab. 
Although in 1850 Dost Mohommed Khan ultimately conquered the pro- 
vince of Afghan-Turkestan, he put forward no pretensions to the country 
east of Maimene. It was subject to Khiva in the same way as Merv. 
Medemii Khan of Khiva appeared there more than once with his army, 
to punish the Turkomans who had revolted against him, remained for a 
long time in Pende, and went thence to Serakhs ; and all this called forth 
no expostulations on the part of the rulers of Kabul or Herat. 

The Saryks settled in Pende had very considerable flocks ; but the 
disturbed state of the country made great part of their pastures inaccessible 
to them, and thus it occurred to the new settlers to enter into arrange- 
ments with their neighbours ; war and the expulsion of the Jemshidis to 
the south were impossible, in consequence of the support which that tribe 
received from the Herat Government ; and the Saryks began to drive 
their flocks for pasture on the northern slopes of the Paropamisus, 
paying for that to the Herat authorities 6 or even 8 tenge per 100 
sheep. For the right to till the ground and use the water, the Saryks, as 
before, paid nothing to any one, as the lands occupied by them had long 
been considered Turkoman property. The pasture tax was paid very 
irregularly. When the power of the Amir was strong in Afghanistan, and 
especially in Char-vilaet and Herat, the Saryks carefully paid the money 
due from them ; but as soon as any disorder began, the Saryks immediately 
took advantage of it to refuse the covenanted payment. The Afghans 
never appeared to collect the money ; but when the Saryks resisted, they 
seized the pastures and part of the flocks, which they did not surrender 
until their claims were satisfied. At the same time, the Saryks raids in 
the plain of Herat were really very general. 

Not more solid was the connection of the Saryks with Bukhara. There 
was an important party both in Pende and Iol-otan which recognised the 
authority of the Amir of Bukhara ; in token of the subjugation, the Saryk 
Khans went to Bukhara and received presents from the Amir, and if he 
suffered personally from the raids of the tribe, they did their best to restore 
what had been stolen. Of course, the Saryks did not on this account cease 
to plunder the Bukhara caravans, or the Yersaris those of the Saryks. 

Such was the condition of the country at the moment of the capture of 
Oeok-tepe, and for some time after. 


Only quite recently the Amir Abdulrahman began to lay claim to the 
possession of Pende : and to support his pretensions in the beginning of 
last year he placed in Bala-Murg-ab 1000 horsemen with their families 
from the Khazare (Hazara) and Jemshidi tribes under an Afghan general 
(Jerneil). The Saryks who lived along the canal, starting at Bend-i-Jou- 
kara, were driven from their settlements, and their lands given to the 

With the Jerneil there is a specially appointed collector of tribute, 
who, relying on the nearness of the Afghan soldiers, appears in Pende 
to obtain the payment for the pasture of the sheep on the slopes of 
the Paropamisus. In autumn of last year he began to demand from the 
Saryks new taxes, viz. one-tenth part of the crops. Only the inhabitants 
of Meruchak, being near the forts occupied by the Afghans, agreed to pay 
it, since, if they refused to satisfy the demands made on them, the Jerneil 
would lay waste their tillage. In the other settlements nobody recognises 
the new imposition. The Afghans dare not descend into the oasis proper 
for the perpetration of violent deeds. 

In May of the present year the Saryks who arrived in Askh-abad 
stated that in Bala-Mnrg-ab there were three battalions (fouj) of Afghan 
troops, and that they were preparing to build a fort near Dash-kepri 
This last assertion has not yet been confirmed. 

Saryks are very hostile to the Afghan proceedings, but they are unable 
to offer any resistance : their relations with the Afghans are the same as 
those of the inhabitants of Atek formerly were with the Khan of Kelat 
and Deregez : their fields and flocks are always exposed to the sudden 
raids of Afghan troops. 

The Saryks are now convinced that subjection to the Afghans would 
not be an advantage to them. It is true the Afghan authorities do not 
prevent them from carrying on their plimderings in Persia and among the 
Yersaris ; but that is now rendered difficult by the neighbourhood of the 
Russians, and so this solitary enticement disappears, and the arbitrary 
conduct of the authorities, the exactions and high taxes, force the Saryks 
to wish to place themselves in the same condition as the people of Merv 
and Akhal. It is only the most obstinate raiders who are unwilling to 
forget the old mode of life, and hope that under the protection of the 
Afghans they will still be able to carry it on. Of such people there are 
but few, and it is certain that if the Russians appear in Pende they will 
be welcomed with perfect sympathy by the great mass of the population 
of the oa^i-. 



At a meeting of Council on April 28th, the Secretary submitted his Report on 
the Organisation of the Glasgow Branch of the Society. The arrangements for 
a joint working scheme between the Society and the Geographical Section of the 
Philosophical Society of Glasgow were reported on, and unanimously approved of. 
Under this scheme, which has already been adopted by the Glasgow Philosophical 
Society, and by its Geographical Section, the members of both Societies will be 
entitled to attend all ordinary Geographical Meetings held under their respective 
auspices in the Lecture Hall of the Philosophical Society. 

On the invitation of the Council, Professor Arminius Vambery, Honorary Corre- 
sponding Member of the Scottish Geographical Society, came to Scotland for the pur- 
pose of delivering two lectures on " Herat and its Environs," under the auspices of 
the Society. His first address was delivered in the Queen Street Hall, Edinburgh, 
on the evening of the 7th May, when he was very cordially received by a large 
audience, consisting of Members and the general public. The Right Honourable 
Sir George Harrison, Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Vice-President, presided ; and 
the distinguished traveller was accompanied to the platform by Bishop Cotterill, 
Dr. Cleghorn, Bailie Clark, Professor Donaldson, of Aberdeen ; Professor Geikie, 
Mr. John Murray, of the Challenger Expedition ; Dr. Marshall, Dr. Sandford, Dr. 
George Smith, Mr. William C. Smith, Advocate ; General Wahab, and the Office- 
bearers of the Society. On the conclusion of the proceedings, Professor Vambery 
was entertained by the Council at a complimentary supper in the Windsor Hotel. 

The second address, which forms the leading article in this number of the 
Magazine, was given on the following night by Professor Vambery at a numerously 
attended meeting, convened by the Glasgow Branch of the Society, in the St. 
Andrew's Hall. Mr. A. Renny Watson presided ; and there were also on the plat- 
form Dr. Blackie, Dr. Christie, Mr. Ewing, Mr. Robert Gourlay, Professor Grant, 
Bailie Shearer, Dr. Turner, and others. 

The last ordinary meeting of the Society in Session 1884-5 was held in the 
Masonic Hall, Edinburgh, on 20th May, when Dr. Robert W. Felkin read a paper 
on " The Egyptian Sudan," which we print as our second article. Mr. Adam W. 
Black, Member of Council, presided ; and Dr. Clyde moved a vote of thanks to the 
lecturer on the conclusion of his interesting address. 

The Secretary announced that since the first meeting, held last October, when 
the Society was formally constituted, up to the one that evening, the Society had 
had no less than fifteen Ordinary Meetings, seven of which had been held in Edin- 
burgh, four in Glasgow, two in Dundee, and two in Aberdeen. Among the dis- 
tinguished explorers and travellers who had addressed these meetings were the 
following :— Mr. H. M. Stanley, Mr. Joseph Thomson, Mr. H. 0. Forbes, 
Mr. Frederick L. Moir, Captain Brandon Kirby, Mr. H. H. Johnston (by deputy), 
Professor Vambery, and finally, Dr. Robert Felkin. The Lecture Committee had 
already received promises of Papers for next session from — Mrs. Bishop (Miss Bird), 
Lieutenant Greely, Lieutenant Hovgaard of the Dijmphna Expedition, Professor 
Vambery, Professor Geikie, Mr. Holt Hallett, Dr. Laws, Mr. H. H. Johnston, and 
several others. A further announcement was made to the effect that the member- 
ship had already reached 900, and Members were requested to so far identify them- 
selves with the interests of the Society as to use their best endeavours to introduce 
each another Member, when the Society would be in a better position to carry out 
some of the more important national and international objects for which it wa.s 



Professor Dr. J. J. Egli, of Zurich, the leading authority on geographical nomen- 
clature, has expressed his willingness to act as Honorary Corresponding Member 
of this Society, and has of his own accord been kind enough to contribute the 
following : — 

Reply to C. D. in No. 1 (p. 49) as to whether the names Green River, White 
River, etc., in the Colorado district, were given on account of the actual colour of 
their waters. — Upon this question I offer the following remarks, which, though not 
answering it directly, will yet throw some light upon it, I believe. 

The main stream, the Rio Colorado, is so named from its conspicuously reddish 
colour. Spanish words derived from the Latin color ( = colour) are generally used 
to designate what is bright, gay in tint, especially if red ; for instance, colorar = to 
blush, Colorado = red, and, in a metaphorical sense, colorear =to colour, cloak, palliate. 
Hence Rio Colorado = red river. 

As the name implies, the river was discovered by the Spaniards. Fernando 
Alarchon was despatched by Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of New Spain, to explore 
the Gulf of California. He set sail on 9th May 1540, and, having reached the head 
of the gulf, discovered the embouchure of a " very mightie river." Taking with 
him two boats and twenty men he proceeded (Aug. 1540) up the stream for fifteen 
and a half days, a distance that he accomplished on his return by land in two and a 
half days. On the 14th of September he repeated the journey with three boats, and 
directed that the country should be called Campana de la Cruz, that a chapel should 
be built to our Lady de la Buena Guia, and that the river should be named Rio de 
Buena Guia. Agreeably to the prevalent spirit of that age, the Spanish discoverer 
regarded the regions he opened up as a field for Christian missionary effort, and as 
new ground whereon to plant the Cross. He used to distribute largely his crosses 
among the uncivilised people through whose lands he passed, and he was filled with 
joy when women and children raised their hands to the holy symbol and fell on 
their knees before it. 1 For him the colour of the river was not red : he was not a 
student of natural phenomena, but a Spaniard of the militant age of the Church. 
Alarchon's naming of the river therefore was analogous to the ecclesiastical act of 
baptism. Here we have an example of the general principle, laid down and sup- 
ported by scores of instances in a collection of 17,000 names, taken from all lands 
and all languages, in my book on Names, 2 viz., the principle that geographical 
nomenclature is not the result of the working of blind chance, but bears the stamp 
of intelligible laws, which express the spirit that was embodied in the age, nation, 
and discoverer from which a name has come. From these circumstances it is at 
once plain that the name Rio Colorado must date from a later period ; and doubt- 
less it was first used to designate the river by a race of people, the offspring of poorer 
Spanish immigrants and natives, whose mode of life rendered a closer observation of 
nature imperative. The Canadians, indeed, believed the river was discovered by 
the Spaniards, since they called it simply La Riviere Espagnolc, or the Spanish 
River. 3 Later travellers state that the waters of the lower course of the river, i.e. 
after the confluence of its two main tributaries, Green and Grand Rivers, are of a 
strikingly red colour, and that they carry down a red sediment which tints the waters 

1 R. Hakluyt, Principal Navigations, iii. p. 125 sq., 537 ; London, 1600. 

2 J. J. Egli, Nomina Geographica, Leipsic, 1872. 

3 Duftos de Mofras, Exploration du Tvrritoire de V Oregon, des Californies et de la Mer 
Vermeille, i. p. 215. 

VOL. I. It 


of the Gulf of California to a considerable distance from the shore. It was this cir- 
cumstance which led the earliest Spanish navigators to call the gulf the Mar Bermejo 
( = Purple Sea) and Mar Rojo ( = Red Sea). The American, Captain J. C. Ives, 
having been commanded, " by order of the Secretary of War," to ascend the stream 
in 1857-58, found that, at a distance of little more than six miles from the mouth, 
at a depth of 3i fathoms, the current diminished in size, whilst the water " became 
of a deeper red, and very turbid. . . . The water is perfectly fresh, of a dark 
red colour, and opaque from the quantity of mud held in suspension." 1 Alluding to 
its tributary, Flax River, the Report says : " The river is smaller than the Colorado, 
but . . . much resembles the other at its low stage. There are the same swift current, 
chocolate-coloured water. ... At Fort Yuma and above, the sediment consists 
of fine micaceous sand and red clay, which at all seasons of the year exist in such 
quantity as to render the water both red and opaque." 2 " The Rio Colorado," says 
Oscar Loew, 3 of the expedition of Lieut. Wheeler (1875), " owes its name to the 
fine red mud held in suspension in its waters, and rivalling the sedimentary deposits 
of the Nile in their fertility. If water from this river be allowed to stand for a 
couple of hours the sediment sinks to the bottom of the vessel, and the water is 
found to be clear and pleasant to the taste." Speaking of his expedition of 1869, 
E. 0. C. Ord 4 bears similar testimony : " The water is of a yellowish muddy colour, 
heightened at this vicinity on account of the waters received from the Rio Virgin." 

The water derives its red colour from the geological constitution of the countiy 
it passes through, especially from the neighbourhood of the Purple Hills, through 
which the river forces its way. When on 12th January, 1858, Captain Ives passed 
the gap, he and the whole expedition were struck by the beautiful coloration of the 
walls of rock — the stone, bright red and violet, and still wet from the rain that had 
fallen in the night, appeared as if it had just received a new coating of colour. 5 The 
scenery was strikingly bold. " and the variety of colours assumed by the rocks adds 
to its beauty; . . . several ranges, to which, from the general colour they exhibit, 
the name of Purple Hills was given. They are composed of granite and mica slates, 
associated with which are purple porphyries and trachytes, in sufficient quantity to 
impart to them their prevailing colour." 6 

I have no direct evidence as to the colour of the waters of Green, Blue, and 
White Rivers ; but here we have plainly the key to their nomenclature. When the 
immigrants, ascending the red stream, often turbid from the red mud held in sus- 
pension, came to the limpid torrents in the mountains, the obtrusive contrast in the 
colour of the waters would naturally enough determine them in giving names to the 
streams. Similar instances occur elsewhere. The contrast between a turbid milky- 
white and a bluish-green arm of the Nile at Khartoum, where they unite and flow 
on side by side for some distance without mingling their waters, has led the Arabs 
to call them Bahr el-Abiad (White River) and Bahr el-Azrek (Blue River). On the 
frontier between Patagonia and the Argentine Republic two differently-coloured 
streams in the same district were distinguished by the Spanish settlers as the Rio Colo- 
rado ( = Red River) and the Rio Negro ( = Black River). The valleys of Grindelwald 
and Lauterbrunnen, two of the naturally most beautiful Alpine valleys, are traversed, 
the former by the Schvvarze (Black) Liitschine, the latter by the Weisse (White) 

1 Report upon the Colorado River of the West, pp. 19, 26, 39; Washington, 1861. 
* Ibid. iii. p. 20. 

3 A. Petermann, Geogr. Mitteilmigen, 1S76, p. 339. 

4 Preliminary Report upon a Reconnaissance through Southern and South- Eastern Nevada, 
p. 55 ; Washington, 1S75. 

5 Mollhauseu, Reisen in d. Felsengebirge, i. p. 169. 

6 Ives, Report, iii. p. 21. 


Liitschine, the two streams uniting at Zweiliitschinen and flowing into the Lake of 
Brienz at Interlaken. The difference in the colour of their waters has always been 
observed ; and a hundred years ago, when the sons of Albion were far less numerous 
in the Bernese Oberland than they are to-day, it was alluded to and explained by 
two German writers. The current originating from the lower Grindelwald glacier 
receives its dark tint from the Bergelbach, which is coloured by disintegrated clay- 
slates. 1 The colour of the Lauterbrunnen stream is due to the fact that its feeding 
waters from the glaciers pass over impure quartz in the higher regions, and bring 
down with them an enormous quantity of rocky particles. - 

These examples could be supported by several others. Wherever a conspicuous 
natural feature has given rise to a corresponding name, contrast easily suggests 
similar cognate names. The hydrographic system of a " red " river imist embrace 
green, blue, and white streams as soon as the surface-water is observed to contrast 
with the red ; moreover, amongst them will appear a Rio Colorado Chiquito, i.e. a 
Little Red River, as soon as one of the arms, differing from the rest, resembles the 
main stream in colour. 

These theoretical observations only require confirmation from eye-witnesses. 



British Association Meeting at Aberdeen. — September 1885. — The complete list 
of the Office-bearers of the Geographical Section has now been published, and 
is as follows : — The President will be Lieut.-General J. T. Walker, C.B., R.E., 
F.R.S., F.R.G.S. The Vice-Presidents will be Professor James Donaldson, LL.D., 
F.R.S.E., a Member of Council of the Scottish Geographical Society, and Dr. John 
Rae, M.D., F.R.S. The Secretaries of the Section will be Mr. J. S. Keltie, the 
Librarian of the Royal Geographical Society, Mr. J. S. O'Halloran, F.R.G.S., Mr. 
C. G. Ravenstein, F.R.G.S. (Recorder), and the Rev. George A. Smith, M.A.. 
Aberdeen, of the Scottish Geographical Society. 

Iceland : Exploration of the Interior. — Tt is well to remember that there are 
unexplored areas and lofty unclimbed mountains much nearer home than Central 
Africa. Europe — for Iceland is a European Island — has corners about which little 
is ascertained save by inference or guess-work. The largest part of course is known 
sufficiently well for all but scientific purposes. Many tracks through the interior 
are familiar ; some are difficult, but are more or less frequently traversed by natives 
or foreigners ; but the highest-lying Jokiill, with their vast glaciers, may be said 
to be as yet unexplored. In 1881 the Icelandic Althing or Parliament resolved 
to do something for the exploration of heretofore unvisited districts, and Mr. 
Thorvaldur Thoroddson received a commission to examine some of the most 
desolate and inaccessible portions of the great central table-land, including the arid 
wilderness of Odadahraun. By reason of the great natural difficulties in the way, 
this arid waste, the largest lava-field of Europe, had in great measure remained 
Hnvisited. Among the difficulties are the necessity of carrying with one all the 

1 Joh. Gottfr. Ebel in his Anleitumj, die Schweiz zu bereistn, ii. p. 425 (the forerunner of 
all later travellers' handbooks), 1793. 

2 G. K. Chr. Storr, Alpenreise, i. p. 97. 


supplies needed for a sojourn in the more inhospitable regions ; the total lack of 
grass or herbage for the ponies over large areas ; absolute want of water in some 
places, and in others the soft wet clay in which horses sink to the knees ; ground 
so rough and rocky as to be nearly impassable for hardy and sure-footed Iceland 
ponies, with deep and sudden clefts and fissures almost or wholly impossible to 
cross, and necessitating tedious circuits. Almost worse than any other obstacles 
are the deserts of loose and shifting sand or dust, fine enough to rise with even a 
slight wind in masses so dense as to render outlook impossible ; add to this the 
fierce storms of wind, snow, and rain that, even in the most favourable months of 
the year, may suddenly descend on the traveller, and the biting cold which may at 
night render sleep impossible even in the best shelter that a tent can be made to 
afford. Mr. Thoroddson contended with these and other difficulties, not without 
marked success, and, in an article communicated to a Swedish paper (and translated 
in the Globus, xlvii., No. 12), has given an account of his adventures and experiences 
in the third of three seasons spent in exploring work — that of 1884, devoted to the 
desert of Odadahraun and the adjoining mountains. In a journey extending over 
ten weeks, he spent five weeks in wholly uninhabited mountain regions, and claims 
to have really explored a very extensive area, of which about one-half was quite 
unknown. He crossed or skirted some of the worst portions of the great lava 
wilderness, worked his way along the northern base of Vatna Jokiill, and ascended 
some peaks as yet unvisited. In his paper he gives a vivid picture of the strange 
and fearful aspects presented by nature in these fastnesses of winter and storm- 
spirits, and gives a lively notion of the conditions of travel — mostly unpleasant or 
alarming, and always laborious — in Central Iceland. He has made many corrections 
of height and position, and affirms that the Jokulsa, usually regarded as the longest 
river of Iceland, is considerably exceeded by the Thioisa, which is about 120 miles 
long. He cowered shivering for an hour and a half on the highest point of Dyngia, 
a large volcano never before touched by the foot of man, waiting till the weather 
would allow him to use his instruments. The crater is nearly 1600 feet wide, and 
in its floor there is a second or minor crater, itself sufficiently noteworthy. The 
lower crater is a vast abyss 600 or 700 feet deep, and its precipitous sides are 
encrusted with glittering ice. The lava on the mountain side has assumed 
marvellous shapes and appearances, great pyramids alternating with pillars 100 
feet high. In exploring Askja, a volcano which caused such devastation in 1875, 
the explorer and his two companions were on their feet for 36 hours continuously. 
The volcanic activity in the crater is still so great that the noise of escaping vapour 
sounds as if innumerable locomotives were letting off steam at once. 

Arctic Exploration. — Lieutenant Jensen left Copenhagen the 24th March on 
board the Danish vessel Thorvaldsen for West Greenland, in order to continue his 
explorations there. According to a letter we have received from Lieutenant 
Hovgaard, the next Dijmphna expedition has been definitely postponed until next 
year. In a pamphlet entitled The Danish Arctic Expedition, published in Copen- 
hagen, Lieutenant Hovgaard, who, it will be remembered, commanded the late 
Dijmphna expedition, gives his views in regard to Arctic exploration. Referring 
to the best point at which an expedition should enter the unknown northern region 
in order to penetrate as far as possible towards the pole, Lieutenant Hovgaard 
says :— " Nordenskiold's and Parry's experiences warn us against using Spitzbergen 
as a base, those of Nares against Greenland and Smith Sound ; it has been proved 
that by these routes there is scarcely any prospect of penetrating further than 
83° N. latitude." He himself advocates Franz Josef Land, via Cape Tchelyuskin, 
but says : — " It should first be ascertained by a reconnoitring expedition whether 


Franz Josef Land really extends to Cape Tchelyuskin, and make certain that the 
circumstances of current and ice are such as to allow of a base of operations being 
reached without incurring too great risk, and finally that the eastern coast of Franz 
Josef Land at this point trends in a northerly direction. "When these three things 
have been practically proved," continues the intrepid young officer, " the route may 
be said to have been opened, and great expeditions can then follow in the track of 
the reconnoitring expedition, and penetrate into the unknown regions to which the 
door will thus have been opened." Lieutenant Hovgaard, who will be on active 
service this summer, hopes to be able to visit Edinburgh in order to read a paper 
before the Scottish Geographical Society. 

The Commerce of Sweden. — Mr. Edmund Cope, in his Report, dated December 
1884, on the commerce and agriculture of Sweden, is only able to give the complete 
statistics for the year 18S2, as taken from the return published by the Royal 
Statistical Department at Stockholm. The value of the imports was £16,656,663, 
and of the exports £14,104,859— total, £30,761,522. Of this total the share of the 
United Kingdom amounted to £11,425,444, viz., £4,344,500 of imports and 
£7,080,944 of exports. Leaving out of account the sister kingdom of Norway, the 
united trade of the neighbouring countries, Denmark, Germany (including the 
enormous transit trade of the Hanse towns), and Russia, in the year 1882, exceeded 
that of Great Britain by only £310,000. The trade of Sweden with this country 
was also considerably more than double the value of the united trade of France, 
Holland, Belgium, and the United States of America. The emigration from Sweden 
in 1882 was 50,178, of which number 44,359 went to the United States ; the figures 
fell in 1883 to 24,850, and in 1884 to 16,840. It is noted that the emigration 
movement in Sweden is subject to great fluctuation, the figures rising from 7206 in 
1866 to 39,064 in 1869, and again falling to 7610 in 1877. The population of 
Stockholm was 185,325 in 1882, as against 143,735 in 1872. As the annual 
increase in the population of the city has of late exceeded 7000, there is little doubt, 
Mr. Cope thinks, that, when the statistics at the end of the current year are made 
out, it will be found that the number of inhabitants of the Swedish capital has 
reached 200,000. 


The "Great Haj." — 1885 will, it is understood, be regarded in the Moham- 
medan world as Haj el Akbar, or the Great Haj, so called from the chief day of 
the religious year of Islam falling on a Friday (September 19th) ; and conse- 
quently it is expected that twice the usual number of pilgrims will visit the holy 
places at Mecca and Medina. From Consul Jago's report on the trade of Jeddah 
for 1884, we learn that the total number of pilgrims that assembled last year at 
Mount Arafat was 65,000, or 5000 more than in 1S83. Of these 31,157 came by 
sea (62"5 per cent, in British vessels), compared with 28,883 in the previous year ; 
3000 arrived by the Damascus caravan, including many Baghdadis and others picked 
up on the road ; 5000 were Bedouins and Arabs from the Yemen ; 5000 cameleers 
and drivers ; and 21,000 inhabitants of Hedjaz. Last year the Egyptian Mahmel 
came direct by sea from Suez, instead of making the usual forty days' journey through 
the desert, thus saving much pecuniarily, and still more in sufferings and privations 
to the Hajis. Of the sea-borne pilgrims, 9262 were British Indians, comprising also 
Mohammedans from Central Asia, these figures showing a falling off to the amount 
of 2504 ; 7716 were from the Dutch East Indies, the Malay States, and Indo- 
China ; 6348 Turks and Syrians ; and 2387 Egyptians. The others comprised : — 


1351 Zanzibaris ; 1329 Tripolitans and Tunisians ; 969 Yemenis ; 268 Persians ; 
268 Sudanese ; 377 Arabs ; and 882 of unknown nationality brought by native 
coasters. Mr. Jago]discusses the facts relating to the pilgrim trade from the strictly 
commercial standpoint. The imports of Jedclah, the port of Mecca, consist, he says, 
in what is necessary to clothe and feed the floating and permanent population of the 
Hedjaz, while its exports consist in hides and skins, a little gum, and mother-of- 
pearl shells fished from the Red Sea ; and as the vast majority of the inhabitants of 
the province depend entirely upon the profits made out of the pilgrims, a good or 
bad " pilgrim season " makes the same difference in local prosperity as good or bad 
harvests in countries more favoured by nature than the sandy unproductive wastes 
of Arabia. Complaint is made, however, that even when pilgrims are numerous 
nowadays the profits to be made out of them have diminished when compared with 
former years, owing, first, to the vast majority being confined to the poorer classes, 
or to those who go on pilgrimage with the strictest regard to economy, by carrying 
with them from home provisions sufficient to last them during their whole stay in 
the Hedjaz ; and second, to the now extremely rare advent of wealthy devotees of 
the Moslem world, whose position renders it incumbent on them to scatter largesse 
in profusion among all classes of the Hedjaz, and notably among the numerous 
office-bearers and attendants of the holy places. The Consul mentions that a 
scheme is afloat for providing Jeddah with pure water, at a cost of £12,000, by 
means of pipes from a locality in the neighbouring hills. Little rain has fallen for 
three years, and the supply in the desert tanks and cisterns has been alarmingly 
scanty and bad. 

British Mission to Cashmere. — A Reuters telegram from Simla, dated 26th 
May, says : — " A British Mission is being sent to Cashmere in charge of Colonel 
Lockhart, who is accompanied by Major Woodthorpe, Captain Barrow, and Dr. 
Giles, and an escort consisting of two non-commissioned officers and twenty men of 
the 24th Bengal Infantry. The chief object of the mission is to obtain further 
geographical information concerning the countries on the northern and western 
frontiers of Cashmere. It will visit Chitral, and the neighbourhood of that place, 
and will be absent for several months." 

The Population of Persia. — A census of Persia is still a project of the future — if, 
indeed, the question has ever got so far as to be a project. The estimates hitherto 
made have all admittedly been of the nature of approximations ; and the informa- 
tion available from native sources is open to grave suspicion. Some figures on the 
subject, collected by Mr. Dickson, H.M.'s Secretary of Legation at Tehran, in a 
report on the trade of Persia, are, however, perhaps more worthy of attention than 
any that have hitherto been available. They have been supplied by Mr. Schindler, 
a gentleman who has travelled over the greater part of Persia, and who, says Mr. 
Dickson, has taken great pains to ascertain the condition and resources of the country. 
The area of Persia is given at about 1,647,070 square kilometres (about 635,770 
square miles) ; and the total population at 7,653,000, distributed as follows : — 99 
towns containing 363,630 families, or 1,963,800 individuals ; villages and districts 
without towns, 3,780,000 inhabitants ; nomads — Arabs, 52,020 families ; Turks, 
144,000 families ; Kurds and Leks, 135,000 families ; Beluchis and Gipsies, 4,140 
families ; and Bakhtiaris and Lurs, 46,800 families — in all, 381,960 families ; or, 
1,909,800 persons — total population, as above, 7,653,600. Divided according to 
creeds, the figures are given as follows :— Shiiahs, 6,860,000 ; Sunnis and other 
Mohammedan sects, 700,000 ; Parsis, 8,000 ; Jews, 19,000 ; Armenians, 43,000 ; 
and Nestorians and Chaldeans, 23,000. Of the Armenian population, 52 - 8 per cent, 
are males, and 47"2 females ; and of the Mussulman population, the mean propor- 



tiou is 50"5 per cent, females, and 49"5 males. The following list is furnished of the 
more prominent Persian towns, and their respective population : — 


. 164,630 




60,000 to 70,000 


. 40,000 

Yezd, . 


Resht (including 

adjoining vi 



. 41,170 

lages), . 



. 30,000 





under 20,000 


. 11,000 










. 30,000 

Kasha n, 

. 30,000 


. 30,000 


. 20,000 







Mohamuiera, . 


Taking the medium between the highest and lowest figures obtained, Mr. Dickson 
thinks the population of Tehran may be about 120,000. Colonel Ross estimates 
that of Bushire at 10,000. 


The Death of Dr. Nachtigal — It is with deep regret that we have to record the 
death of Dr. Nachtigal, the famous African explorer, and the pioneer of German 
colonial policy on the West Coast of Africa, who died of intermittent fever on board 
the German gunboat Mince, on the 20th April, and was buried the following day at 
Cape Palmas. An account of his life and writings will be given in the obituary to 
be published at a future date. 

German Colonisation in Tropical Africa. — Dr. Fischer, a doctor practising at 
Zanzibar, who has been for seven years resident in Equatorial East Africa, has 
published a small book pointing out the difficulties in the way of many Germans 
settling or working in these regions, and thereby damping some unreasonable hopes 
that seem to have been cherished in the Fatherland. He estimates that the coast 
territory of Zanzibar, some 900 miles in length, raises annually exports worth about 
£1,000,000, but affirms that the vast interior produces at present nothing worth the 
cost of conveying to the coast save ivory, now greatly decreased in quantity. The 
available caoutchouc, copal, spices, red pepper, skins, sesamum, and earth-nuts are 
hardly more than sufficient to employ eight or nine European firms in Zanzibar. 
The only chance of important growth of German exports to these regions, is in gun- 
powder and spirits ; knives, iron goods, or pottery could be but very slowly worked 
off ; and German cotton cloths, he thinks, could not hold their own here against 
English goods. The climate is in the most important places decidedly unsuitable 
for Europeans ; and the longer they stay the more do they suffer from unfavour- 
able climatic conditions. Even in the highly-praised uplands of the new German 
territory, Ussagara, the heat is such as to render physical exertion very fatiguing 
for Europeans. The action of the heart is so increased that healthy men become short- 
winded, and not infrequently suffer from enlargement of the heart, not to speak of 
inevitable and debilitating attacks of fever. Throughout Equatorial Africa, the 
universal rule is, the healthy districts are unfruitful, the fertile ones are unhealthy. 
Thus, Liideritzland is perfectly healthy, but hardly a blade of grass will grow there. 
Agriculture or other plantation work can only be done by Negroes or other natives, 
of whose gradual civilisation Dr. Fischer has good hopes. — From Mehr Licht im 
Dunlclen Wdtteil, by Fischer, quoted in Das Echo of 1st May. 



The Canadian Pacific Railway (vide Map). — In these days, when modern civilisa- 
tion and enterprise form such important factors in the destinies of nations, each new 
great undertaking successfully accomplished must be taken into account by the 
statesman and political economist. We therefore welcome any improved means of 
communications between the mother country and her distant colonies, or strategical 
points which are eminently suited to protect them, as not only a guarantee for better 
commercial prospects, but also as a means of spreading western civilisation and 
culture to remote parts, and as a medium for consolidating our Empire and making 
Imperial Federation not merely an ideal aim, but a very possible reality. The com- 
pletion of the Canadian Pacific Railway, which has just been announced, will now 
offer a continuous line of communication, in no part leaving British territory, from 
Halifax, one of the chief military positions which form the corner-stones of the 
Empire, to Port Moody, in British Columbia, thus connecting the Atlantic and 
Pacific Oceans. It is calculated that the time it would take to transport troops 
from one point to the other would not exceed seven days ; and the distance from 
Liverpool to Halifax being only 2855 statute miles, it would now be possible to 
make the port on the Pacific a base of operations either for purposes of defence or 
attack. The advantages of this, both on Imperial and other considerations, are too 
obvious to need any comment. It is, however, interesting to notice some of the 
conditions which this increased rate of transit now offers. The Canadian Pacific 
Railway has advantages which ordinary cartography, owing to the illusion of projec- 
tion, does not adequately exhibit. It seems from most maps of the American 
Continent as if the Canadian Pacific line were a good deal longer than its rivals, 
which run through the territory of the United States. The distance, however, 
from Montreal to Port Moody is only 2870 miles, while the distance from New York 
to San Francisco, by the shortest of the United States lines, is 3331 miles. Not only 
Halifax, but New York and Chicago, are nearer to the Pacific terminus of the 
Canadian line than to San Francisco. Indeed, the route across the Atlantic over- 
land by the Canadian Pacific line, and from British Columbia across the Pacific to 
China or Japan, ought to insure, when properly organised, a considerable saving of 
time over any of the present routes. The chief towns along the main line, between 
Lake Superior and the foot of the Rocky Mountains, are Port Arthur, which, from 
its position, will become the chief place of transhipment on Lake Superior for traffic 
carried by way of the lakes ; Fort William, about six miles from Port Arthur ; 
Rat Portage, which, possessing unlimited water-power, should in time assert its 
position as one of the largest manufacturing centres on the Continent ; Winnipeg, 
the capital of Manitoba, the great distributing point for all of the country between 
the Red River and the Rocky Mountains ; Portage La Prairie, Carberry, Brandon 
Virden, Moosomin, Broadview, Indian Head, QuAppelle ; Regina, the capital of 
Assiniboia, where the captive rebel, Riel, now awaits his trial ; Moosejaw, Medicine 
Hat, and Calgary. The riches of the country which the main line will open up are 
not yet thoroughly explored, but that they are very great is certain. On the 
Pacific side there are vast and undeveloped fisheries, forests, and mines ; at the base 
of the Rocky Mountains there are immense cattle ranches ; in the prairie country 
there are boundless possibilities of wheat-growing ; and in the region bordering on 
the great lakes — bleak and almost desert as it is — there is much wealth both in 
minerals and timber. By the mother country, the growth of a sense of union 
among her children — says the Times, commenting on this subject — must always be 
regarded as a source of strength ; and in these days it points, happily, to a larger and 
wider conception of Imperial unity which will not remain, it may be hoped, an 
aspiration only. 


The Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia. — The question naturally rises 
to one's mouth when contemplating the comparatively undeveloped condition of 
British Columbia, What traffic will the Canada Pacific line have in this country ? 
In the opinion of many who know the country, there are few, if indeed any, districts 
of the size of British Columbia for which the amount and diversity of its natural 
resources promise a more prosperous future. Its coal-beds produce fuel that is 
generally acknowledged to be the best on the whole Pacific slope, a circumstance 
amply corroborated by its large export to San Francisco and other American ports. 
Of the timber wealth it is not necessary to speak, for British Columbia has to-day 
by far the largest and by far the finest forests in the world. Its fisheries are finer 
than anything on the east coast of America or in Europe, while what good judges 
pronounce to be perhaps the most important of its resources — that is, its minerals 
— deserves very much more attention by capitalists than it has hitherto receive'!. 
The extent of its agricultural land is limited, but what there is is usually of the 
most productive alluvial character. Its grazing areas are limited to certain districts, 
where excellent bunch grass and a mild winter climate prevail. In a few valleys, 
such as the Upper Kootenay Valley in the attractive Kootenay district, through 
which the Canada Pacific is now being built, there is a rare combination of both 
these kinds of lands ; and, withal, the whole country is one where life is not made 
unpleasant by extremes of temperature. — Mr. W, A. Baillie-Grohman, in the /'"// 
Mall Gazette. 

Manitoba. — The Canadian Gazette for 7th May contains the following : — " There 
has been issued from the United States Printing Office a volume of Consular 
Reports. One, that of Consul Taylor, at Winnipeg, will be of special interest in the 
North-west. He makes the statement that the exports from that province (mainly 
to Eastern Canada) in wheat have increased over 1,000,000 dols. in 1884 over the 
exports of 1882. The surplus crop available in 1883-4 was 1,000,000 bushels, 
against half that amount in 1882-3. The estimated surplus for 1885 is 3,000,000 
bushels. The conditions and rate of increase are similar to those of the first crops 
in Minnesota, he declares, and says that Manitoba promises to be a good country 
for all the small grains. He notes a large commerce with the United States, which 
he attributes to the construction of the Canadian Pacific, and he affirms his belief 
that reciprocal trade will increase with the completion of the line from Montreal to 
the Pacific Coast." 


New Guinea Exploration. — A conference took place on March 31st, by telegraph, 
between the Melbourne and Sydney branches of the Geographical Society of 
Australia, on the question of New Guinea exploration. It was decided to subsidise 
Mr. H. 0. Forbes' expedition to New Guinea to the extent of ,£'500, on condition 
that the two colonies received copies of the explorer's diary and despatches, and 
duplicates of his collection of specimens. The conference also decided to despatch 
an independent expedition from the Aird River, the whole expenses to be defrayed 
by the Society. This latter expedition will be placed under the leadership of 
Captain Everett, who will be accompanied by Dr. von Lendenfeld. — The Colonies 
and India, 15th May. 

British North Borneo. — A paper on British North Borneo was read by Sir Walter 
H. Medhurst at a meeting of the Fellows of the Royal Colonial Institute held in 
London on 12th May. 

The shape of the island of Borneo, Sir Walter stated, resembles that of a 
Burgundy pear, the stalk end pointing northwards towards China, and the base 


lying southwards upon the equatorial islands of the Eastern Archipelago. Supposing 
the stalk end of this huge pear to be cut off to the extent of about one-eighth of the 
whole length of the fruit, the morsel so detached would, roughly speaking, represent 
the portion of territory ceded to the British North Borneo Company. They conse- 
quently possess a sea-coast in three directions, namely, on the stalk or north end, 
and on the eastern and western shoulders. On the west coast of Borneo, and con- 
tiguous with the southernmost limit of the Company's western boundary, lies Brunei, 
a quasi-independent State, governed by a Sultan ; and next beyond that the Rajah- 
doni of Sarawak. The entire line of sea-coast owned by the Company is said to be 
600 miles in length, and it is indented at various points by bays and harbours, some 
of them scarcely to be equalled elsewhere as safe and commodious refuges for 
shipping. The principal stations thus far opened by the Company are Silani and 
Sandakan on the east coast, Kudat on the northern point, and Gaya, Papar, and 
Kimanis on the western coast. Silam was opened mainly as a depot for experi- 
mental gardening. The sugar-cane had already been extensively introduced by the 
natives, and was found to grow so readily, and to such perfection, that great hopes 
were at one time entertained of its becoming the staple product of the colony. It 
has been found, however, that the climate and soil of North Borneo is also peculiarly 
adapted for the cultivation of tobacco. Planting takes place in April or May, and 
the gathering of the leaf may be looked for in about seventy days afterwards. 
Sandakan is the principal centre of trade ; its position is a grand one. It nestles 
just inside the entrance of a most picturesque as well as commodious bay, into 
which some seventeen rivers are said to discharge themselves. The site of the 
settlement comprises a frontage of about 5000 feet, with water deep enough to admit 
of large vessels being laid alongside its future wharves, which are at this moment 
represented by one well-built wooden pier, 450 feet in length, and enabling vessels 
drawing 20 feet of water to go alongside. At the back of the settlement there is an 
unlimited amount of land available for suburban and country dwellings, and for 
plantation farms. Drinking-water is plentiful, and most excellent in quality. The 
trade seems to be almost entirely in the hands of the Chinese, who traffic directly 
with the natives. The imports consist of treasure, provisions, rice and flour, cloth, 
spirits, opium, hardware, brassware, tobacco, sugar, oil, cattle, crockery, and 
sundries. The exports comprise birds'-nests, rattans, gutta, damar, trepang, pearl 
shells, sharks' fins, camphor, and sundries. Kudat is situated upon the shore of a 
small but deep and safe harbour, forming one of the indentations on the west side of 
Marudu Bay, the great arm of the sea which penetrates the north point of Borneo. 
The soil in the neighbourhood has been favourably reported upon by European and 
Chinese planters, and the country around abounds in several sorts of good and large 
timber, which only need to be known in order to take a prominent place in Chinese 
and other markets. The population is estimated at 1250, of whom more than one- 
half are Chinese. Gaya, although only opened in September 1882, has already 
shown indications of material progress and success. Papar and Kimanis are stations 
further along the west coast, where the population is more numerous than in any 
other part of the territory, owing to the soil being good, and the country being 
better adapted for the cultivation of products such as the natives are partial to, 
namely, rice, sugar, sago, pepper, and other low country produce. 

The Company have lately acquired a valuable cession of territory from the 
Sultan of Brunei, extending their boundary from Kimanis, on the west coast, to 
Sipitong, a small stream rising in Mount Mirapoke, and which empties itself into 
Brunei Bay. This acquisition adds about sixty miles of coastdine, and 4000 square 
miles to the Company's territory. The above-described stations constitute the 
main points at which the Company have established themselves, and they from 


the outposts, as it were, from which the influences of civilisation and commercial 
development are being brought to bear upon the extensive and, as yet, partially 
explored interior. 

Amongst the sources of revenue, opium is at present the most productive ; and 
next to it come royalties on export, sale of birds'-nests, profit on coinage, etc. The 
great find for birds'-nests is at some mammoth caves, called Gormanton, situated in 
the vicinity of the Kinabatangan River ; and these same caves having been a resort 
for vast flights of bats for untold generations in times past, there is to be found in 
their recesses a deposit of guano, the extent and depth of which have not yet been 
ascertained. The depth, however, must be exceptional, as a twenty-foot pole has 
failed to reach the bottom in those parts tested. Still richer caves have been dis- 
covered in the neighbourhood of Darvel Bay, near Silam Station. Gold has lately 
been discovered in the alluvial soil of the Segama river, samples of which have 
proved on analysis to be worth 72s. per ounce. Indications of coal have also been 
met with in several localities. 

The climate is favourably reported on by medical men. It is, of course, tropical, 
and precautions have to be taken against undue exposure. The period of the north- 
east monsoon is the rainy season of the year, but a day hardly ever passes during 
the drier months without a refreshing shower. The uniformly warm temperature, 
and the abundance of moisture combined, have the effect of covering the country 
with a perpetual verdure. Palm trees, of many varieties, of which the nipa and 
sago are the most valuable, grow luxuriantly everywhere ; and camphor, gutta- 
percha, the resin called " damar," vegetable tallow, and oils of various sorts are to 
be had merely for the trouble of working. 

The flora of North Borneo is as numerous, delicate, and beautiful as the forests 
are grand and imposing. The most prominent in profusion and beauty are the 
orchids, and the various varieties of nepenthe and rhododendron. 

The elephant and rhinoceros are plentiful in certain parts, and wild cattle abound 
in the more remote forests ; deer of several kinds are also to be met with ; wild, 
pigs and monkeys swarm ; and the famous orang-outang makes Borneo his chief 
home. Crocodiles are plentiful in all rivers and bays, and reptiles and insects, some 
of the latter of beautiful forms, abound all over the country. 

[For comparison with this interesting account of Sir Walter Medhurst's, our 
readers will find an abstract of a paper by Mr. E. P. Gueritz, in the Report, just 
issued, of the Montreal Meeting of the British Association. Mr. Gueritz speaks 
from three years' personal observation, and with a knowledge of several official 

Borneo and Continental Powers. — When the territories of the British North 
Borneo Company were occupied, objections were raised by Spain, as suzerain of the 
Sultan of Sulu, who had certain shadowy claims on the north-east coast of Borneo. 
By a protocol signed at Madrid on the 7th March, Spain renounces these rights on the 
mainland of Borneo, as also over the islands of Balambangan, Banguey, and Mala- 
wali, with any others lying within three maritime leagues of the coast. Great 
Britain, on the other hand, recognises the claims of Spain to the rest of the Sulu 
Archipelago, embracing all the islands lying between Mindanao on one side and 
Borneo and the island of Paragua on the other, although much of this region has not 
been occupied by Spain. But while Spain is left free to impose all Spanish tariffs 
on goods entering the ports of Sulu, Great Britain " engages to see that there is 
entire freedom of commerce and navigation in the territory of North Borneo." The 
policy of thus hampering the freedom of action of a very young colony may perhaps 
be questioned. The protocol is also signed by Germany. 


New Zealand and Samoa. — " A very able letter," says the New Zealand Herald, 
" has been forwarded by the Premier to the Agent-General respecting the position 
of Samoa. A remarkably interesting account is given of the whole of the negotia- 
tions respecting the Navigator's Group, and it is gratifying to find confirmed what 
existed only as a rumour before, that Ministers had agreed to ask Parliament to pay 
the cost of governing the islands, as an inducement to the Imperial Government to 
annex them to the Empire. There are several reasons advanced, not ostensibly, but 
really in support of this position, all of which show the Ministry to be thoroughly 
alive not only to the distinctive interests of New Zealand, but also the general 
interests of the Empire in the Pacific. First of all, there is the importance of having 
the control of the Central Pacific in the hands of Great Britain, whose numerous 
large colonies are in close proximity, and whose interests are therefore paramount in 
these waters. Then there is the expressed wish of the king and chiefs and the 
general inhabitants of the Samoan group for incorporation with the British Empire, 
and specially for association with the colony of New Zealand. And, finally, there 
is the fact that New Zealand colonists have acquired landed interests there, and 
that the trade between these islands and New Zealand exceeds that carried on with 
them by all the other Australasian colonies put together. The last of these facts is 
represented as the basis of the proposal, sanctioned by the New Zealand Parliament, 
to subsidise a steam mail service between the colony and Samoa, Tonga, and Tahiti." 
— The Colonies and India, 15th May. 

British and German Interests in the Pacific. — The Pacific Commission has finally 
concluded its labours. The following are said to be the leading points of settle- 
ment : — The subjects of one Power are to have equal rights in all respects in the 
territories of the other Power. Whatever advantages have arisen to German sub- 
jects as a consequence of the annexation of New Ireland and other places recently 
placed under the German flag will be shared by all English traders. Germans, on 
the other hand, will enjoy the advantages of British subjects in British New Guinea, 
There are to be no differential duties, nor is one Power to impede the ships of the 
other. Arms, ammunition, and alcohol are not to be sold by either Power. The 
Salomon Islands, the New Hebrides, Friendly Islands, and Navigators Islands are 
to remain open as common fields of action, and their independence is not to be 
interfered with. The special interest of British trade is recognised in the Ellice, 
Gilbert, and other groups, and the preponderance of German interests in the 
Caroline and Marshall Islands is admitted. It is hardly probable that the claims 
of New Zealand in respect to Samoa will be recognised. 


Royal Geographical Society. — The Marquis of Lome has been nominated to fill 
the Presidentship of the Eoyal Geographical Society, vacated by Lord Aberdare. 

Manchester Geographical Society. — "We welcome the first number of The Journal 
of the Manchester Geographical Society, which, in addition to the record of proceed- 
ings and other general matter relating to the foundation of the Society, contains a 
very able inaugural address by Mr. J. F. Hutton, J.P., President of the Chamber 
of Commerce ; Mr. Stanley's lecture on Central Africa and the Congo Basin, or, The 
Importance of the Scientific Study of Geography, and a paper by Mr. Arthur Arnold, 
M.P., on Our Commercial Opportunities in Western Asia, a subject which cannot 
too much be impressed upon the attention of the commercial world. 



Sketches in Holland and Scandinavia. By Augustus J. C. Hare. 
London : Smith, Elder, & Co. 1885. 

This little volume will be welcomed by those who propose visiting the countries 
described, or who already have some acquaintance with them. 

In the short compass of 134 pages, the writer gives a very brief description of 
Holland and Scandinavia, seizing on the most salient features and sights interest- 
ing to the tourist, and describing them in an unpretentious and a popular manner, 
the charm of which is only marred by being too slight arid sketchy. Scandinavia, 
especially, so rich in folk-lore, is thus treated charmingly, but so superficially that 
the desire to learn more is only excited. The exquisite little woodcuts give a 
very just picture of some of the places which Mr. Hare visited. 

The True Story of the Rebellion in the SUdan. By Richard Buchta. Translated 
from the German by Mrs. R. W. Felkin. London : Abraham Kingdom & 
Co., 1885. Pp. 51, and Map. Price, Is. 
The writer of this pamphlet, Herr Buchta, is an Austrian photographer, who 
travelled for several years in the Sudan. He was personally acquainted with 
the Mahdi, and his pamphlet contains a very good account of the Mahdi's 
rebellion from its commencement until the battle of Kashgil. He gives a 
description of the people who inhabit the northern part of the Sudan, and indicates 
some of the causes of the revolt. His account of the terrible blunders committed 
by the officials in dealing with the beginnings of the rising is well worthy attentive 
perusal. At page 45, there is a chronological table of the principal events connected 
with the rebellion from July, 1881, to the battle of Abu Klea on January the 17th, 
1885. This pamphlet forms a valuable addition to the scanty literature which exists 
on the subject, and we heartily commend it to the attention of our readers. Mrs. 
Felkin's translation is an able one. 

With Hicks PasJia in the Soudan. By Colonel the Hon. J. Colborxe. Second 
Edition. London : Smith, Elder, & Co., 1885. Pp. 288, and a Frontispiece. 
This book is an account of the Sennar campaign of 1883. Its author is one of 
the only three survivors of an army of 12,000 men. He found moments now and 
then, amidst the turmoil of a camp, to write down his impressions for the benefit of 
the public at home. Reprints of communications made to various journals have 
been incorporated with the central narrative. The book describes the authors 
journey from Cairo to Khartum, and, after giving a history of the marching and 
fighting in Sennar, it concludes with a short description of his homeward camel-ride. 
His notes on the scenery, the people, and the various incidents of his journey, are 
given in a lively manner ; and a few hours may be profitably spent in their perusal. 

Across Africa. By Commander Verxey Lovett Camerox, C.B. London : 
George Philip & Son. New Edition. 1885. Pp. 569. Maps and Illustra- 
tions. Price, 12s. 6d. 
Commander Cameron's Across Africa is now well known as one of the standard 
works of recent African travel, and although it is now ten years since Cameron 
returned from Africa, yet his book covers so much ground which has not been 
trodden by any traveller before or since, that it may still be considered as a new 
book, and the most recent authority for many parts of Central Africa. In the new 
edition, the author has added several interesting chapters on recent political and 
commercial progress ; and the map is corrected to date. Although reduced in price, 
the new volume is much more tastefully got up than the original edition, and does 
credit to the publishers. 


Amongst the Shams. By Archibald Ross Colquhoun. 
London : Field & Tuer, 1885. 

Although the travels here recorded by Mr. Colquhoun are of a less adventurous 
character than his subsequent journey through Southern China, the geographical 
problems, physical and political, connected with the Shan country, are, especially at 
the present time, of the highest interest. The journey here described, and the views 
formed on that occasion by the writer of the feasibility of a railway which should 
form the great trade route between Moulmein and South- Western China, led 
indeed to his attempt to cross from Canton through the Shan country to Burmah, 
which, as will be remembered, was baffled at the Shan-Chinese frontier. In some 
respects this book is disappointing ; there is a want of method in its composition, 
and it is not always easy to know whether the information given is at first hand or 
from hearsay. Nevertheless it contains much interesting information. It describes 
in some detail the line of country between Moulmein and Zimrne (Kiang-Mai), 
over which Mr. Colquhoun proposes to take the railway, and which constitutes the 
most difficult part of the journey from Yun-nan. It is hoped that at the same 
time a line will be constructed from Bangkok to Zimme, thus constituting a bond 
of union between Siam and British Burmah, which, besides its importance to 
British trade, would, the author believes, be the best, if not the only guarantee of 
Siamese independence against the threatened encroachment of the French from 
the eastward. 

Mr. Colquhoun's notices of the Karens, Kakhyens, and other tribes of the hill 
countries through which he passed, are interesting, as is the description of his inter- 
course with the Shans, and of their social condition. The Shans may be said 
to be the most important race of the Indo-Chinese peninsula, the Siamese being, so 
to speak, a younger branch ; and, though now broken up into fragments, and neces- 
sarily owning the supremacy of the nearest big neighbour, it must be inferred, from 
the remarkable identity of language, religion, appearance, and customs over so 
wide an area, that the race before its dispersion had attained at an early period to 
some civil and political unity. 

The value of the book is enhanced by an important essay on " The Cradle of the 
Shan Race," by M. Terrien de la Couperie, the extreme condensation of which is its 
only defect, and by a chapter on Shan history by Mr. Holt Hallett. 

We hesitate to differ from Mr. Colquhoun on such a matter, but we are at 
a loss to know on what grounds he has inserted in his map, to the east of the 
"Independent Shan Country," aregion of "Independent Tribes," between "Tonquin" 
and " China." 


FIFTY MILES ROUND LONDON.— Letts' Cyclist's Map, from the^Ordnance Survey, 
by John Bartholomew, F.R.G.S. Scale, 4 miles to an inch. New edition, May 
1885. London : Letts, Son, & Co., Limited. Price, in case, 2s. 6d. 

This map appears with several new improvements which make it still more 
useful as a guide for cyclists. The publishers, however, in being anxious to give the 
public good value for their money, have perhaps made the sheet inconveniently large 
for easy reference, especially for the cyclist en route. 

BOSNIEN UND DER HERZEGOVINA, Generalkarte von.— Im Massstabe 1 : 150,000 
(2 geographical miles to an inch). Herausgegeben als provisorischer Behelf. 
Wien : K. K. militar-geographischen Institute, 1884-1885. 

NEW MAPS. 271 

The Austrians, anxious to hurry out the new survey of their recently acquired 
provinces, have made a provisional issue of photo-lithographed sheets, of which 
eleven have just been issued. The publication of a survey such as this will, 
no doubt, help in developing the resources of these countries as well as in bringing 
them more completely under the Austrian Government. 


AFGHAN BOUNDARY.— Preliminary Map of the Route followed by the Afghan 
Boundary Commission by Major T. H. Holdich, R.E. Scale, 24 miles to an 
inch. Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society, May 1885. London : E. 

THE IRAWADI RIVER.— Sketch Map, showing the probable course of the Sangpo 
of Tibet to the Irawadi of Burma, according to native authorities, by Robert 
Gordon, C.E. Scale, 20 miles to an inch. Proceedings of the Royal Geographical 
Society, May 1885. London: E. Stanford. 

The Sangpo is a most troublesome river ; for many years it has been a bone of 
contention among geographers, one set claiming it as an affluent of the Brahma- 
putra, and another as belonging to the Irawadi. The physical configuration of 
northern Burma is very peculiar ; the rivers are confined to such long, narrow, 
trench-like basins, all running so comparatively close together, that their identity 
has got rather mixed and requires considerable unravelling. In opposition to the 
opinion most generally held by geographers at present, Mr. Gordon favours the old 
native authorities, and believes, judging from extensive evidence which he has 
accumulated and studied, the great volume of water discharged by the Irawadi, and 
other facts, that the Sangpo and Irawadi are one, and that consequently the Irawadi 
has its source in Central Tibet ; whereas, according to our Indian geographers, the 
Sanpgo flows into the Brahmaputra and the Irawadi has its source in the north of 
Burma, thus depriving its length of about 500 miles. Mr. Gordon's able paper, read 
before the Royal Geographical Society, followed by the discussion and strong opposi- 
tion of General J. T. Walker, is extremely interesting, and gives very fully all the 
evidence for and against the two theories ; but the question will probably remain 
a doubtful one untd this wild mountainous region has been more thoroughly 


CENTRAL- AFRIKA— Karte von Central-Afrika im Massstabe von 1 : 500,000, 
zur Veranschaulichung der Resultate der Kongo-Konferenz, und der neuesten 
politischen Gestaltung Central-Afrikas. Im Auftrage des Auswartigen Amts 
bearbeitet, und gezeichnet von L. Friederichsex, Erstem Sekretar der Geographi- 
schen Gesellschaft in Hamburg. Hamburg : L. Friederichsen & Co. Price, 4.50M. 

This map, which is published in the German Government White Book on the 
Congo Conference, shows on a fairly large scale all the latest discoveries and 
political divisions of Central Africa. 

KAFFRARIA, und die ostlichen Grenzdistrikte der Kapkolonie, von H. C 
Schuxke. Scale, 1 : 750,000 (12 miles to an inch). Nebenkarte : Ubersichtskizze 
der Trigonometrischen Aufnahinen des Tembulandes, sowie der hauptsachlichsten 
Hohenschichten von Kaffraria. Scale, 1 : 1,300,000. Petermann's Mitleilungen, 
Jahrgang 1885, Tafel 9. Gotha : Justus Perthes. 

This is the best map published of the country between Grahamstown and the 
frontiers of Natal, a country which is now rapidly settling down to civilised life, 

272 NEW MAPS. 

and beginning to develop its resources. The author's paper, descriptive of the 
country, illustrated by his map, is a valuable contribution towards the general 
geography of South Africa. 


NORTH AMERICA. — Sixteen Maps accompanying the Report on Forest trees of 
North America by Professor C. S. Sargent. Washington, Department of the 
Interior (Census Office). 

These maps are most beautifully executed, and show the results of long and 
laborious work. The accumulation of data regarding distribution of forests and 
their trees from all parts of the North American continent, its reduction to statis- 
tical shape, and finally to map-form readily intelligible to every one, is a work the 
value of which can scarcely be over-estimated, and it may at once be recognised as a 
direct boon to science no less than to commerce and general industry. There are 
few governments so enthusiastic on behalf of geographical science, and certainly 
none so liberal in diffusing their valuable results, as the Government of the United 
States, but no doubt the praiseworthy expenditure on such good work will prove 
to be seed well sown. The spirit of liberal enterprise and desire on the part of the 
United States Government to be of real use to the public is very gratifying com- 
pared with the strictly official and almost selfish policy which is the rule in this 
country. Millions are spent on imaginary British interests, while thousands, which 
would buy real British interests, promote and extend our commerce, are short- 
sightedly withheld. Why should we not have such maps to illustrate and enhance 
the value of our consular reports, census tables, and blue-books ? Surely British 
cartographers, who have taught the art of map-making to the Americans, have 
not yet allowed themselves to be outstripped by their pupils ! But, after all, there 
cannot be much progress in any art unless it meets with appreciation. 

VENEZUELA, Mapa Fisico y Politico de los Ee. Uu. de, — Scale, 79'5 geographical 
miles to an inch. With inset maps, statistics, and descriptive notes. Caracas, 
published by the Government of Venezuela, 1884. 

This map may be said to accompany a sort of State prospectus holding forth the 
advantages and inducements offered to emigrants to Venezuela. The maps and 
statistics supply a very complete general knowledge of the country, and are of con- 
siderable geographical value. 


HISTORISCHER HAND-ATLAfc Professor G. Droysen's Allgemeiner, — In 
sechsundneunzig Karten mit er auterndem Text. Ausgegeben von der Geo- 
graphischen Anstalt von Yelhagen & Klasing in Leipzig unter Leitung von Dr. 
Richard Andree. 1 Lief., April 1885. Bielefeld und Leipzig, Verlag xon Vel- 
hagen & Klasing. Price, 2M. 

The great success achieved by Dr. Andree's Hand Atlas seems to have induced 
the publishers to get up a companion historical atlas. Certainly maps so really well 
done, and at such a moderate price as in Andree's Atlas, could not fail to meet with a 
large sale among such an appreciative and geographical people as the Germans ; and 
it is highly probable that Dr. Droysen's Historical Atlas, edited by Dr. Andree, 
will be a similar success. It seems to aim at being very thorough and complete, 
and, to judge from the first part.-nd the list of contents of ninety-six maps, the 
public may expect a powerful riv. 1 to " Spruner-Menke " at the exceedingly low 
price of 20 marks. 





By the Rev. Hugh Goldie. 

(With a Map by the Rev. R. M. Bekdie.) 

The principal branch of the Calabar River, which divides a little below 
Duke Town (Atakpa) gets the name of the Cross River, from its having 
been supposed that it was a branch of the Niger. Mr. M 'Queen, in his 
Geographical Surrey of Africa (1840), asserts that "there can be no 
doubt that it is so," and this was the view generally held at the time he 
wrote. He mentions the account sent to the Royal Geographical Society, 
by Mr. Colthurst, who in 1832 attempted to enter the continent by this 
river, as proving this ; but Mr. Colthurst proceeded no further than 
Ikorofiong, only a day's journey from Duke ToAvn, when he fell sick, and, 
returning, died at Duke Town. Mr. Colthurst "pointedly states," says 
Mr. M'Queen, " that by means of the Cross River, the people above the 
Old Calabar inlet traded with the Niger and Eboe." Such an intercourse 
is carried on from the Niger to the region watered by the Cross River, but 
the latter does not afford a highway for it ; the route of the Niger traders 
is overland. Becroft's expedition in 1842 disproved the old opinion, by 
showing that the Cross River could not possibly be a branch of the Niger. 
This misleading name should be exchanged for an appropriate one. 

The people of Old Calabar (Efik), who inhabit the region of the 
estuary of the Cross River and its confluents, were originally, according 
to their traditions, from Ibibio, a territory which lies between the Cross 
River and Ibo on the Niger. Expelled by civil war, they came down to the 
lower parts of the river, but they have no record of the time of their 
compulsory migration. We learn from Clarkson's History of the Abolition 

VOL. I. S 


of the Slave Trade, that in the last century they were located in their 
present position and busily engaged in the slave-trade, then the only 
traffic. Their expulsion from Ibibio must, however, have been long 
before, for though their language is evidently that of Ibibio, the dialectic 
difference is considerable. Their land is divided into four districts, repre- 
senting, no doubt, distinct families of the exodus ; Iboku (Duke Town and 
Creek Town), Obutong (Old Town), Adiabo (Guinea Company villages), on 
the Calabar River, and Mbiabo (Ikunetu and Ikorofiong) on the Cross River. 
The Bonny branch of the Niger and Calabar were formerly the chief 
seats of the slave-trade on the coast, as they are now of the palm-oil trade. 
The people of Old Town, then living nearest to the ships, endeavoured 
to monopolise the traffic ; and to circumvent them, a number of the 
inhabitants of Creek Town obtained land from the Aqua people, planted 
themselves below Old Town, and built Duke Town, then called New 
Town, which has now the principal part of the trade of the country. In 
Clarkson's History (vol. i. chap. xiv. ) we have an account of a massacre of 
the principal inhabitants of Old Town, concerted between the British 
traders then in the river and the founders of New Town. The former 
invited them to a friendly conference on board their ships, and, when along- 
side in their canoes, poured shot upon them, while the latter lurked in the 
bush at the margin of the river, to kill any that might chance to escape 
the fire of the ships. By this deed of treachery the power of Old Town 
was broken, and it has never been able to regain its first position in the 
commerce of the country. 

On the discovery by the Landers of the outlet of the Niger, the late 
Mr. Robert Jamieson, of Liverpool, expended a large sum in exploring its 
mouths, and those of the adjacent rivers, in order to make way for a 
legitimate traffic. He employed a steamer, the Ethiope, under command 
of Captain Becroft, in this work, who in 1842 made the voyage up the 
Cross River above mentioned. He proceeded until stopped by rapids, into 
which he was afraid to venture, the steamer being of small power, and his 
long-cherished desire to obtain a more suitable vessel was never realised. 
An account of this expedition by Dr. King, the medical man on board, 
was published in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society in 1844. 

Two years ago the Rev. S. H. Edgerley and other members of the 
United Presbyterian Mission, Scotland, established in Calabar, went up 
the river, but did not reach quite to the rapids, and a few sentences 
appeared in the journal of that society, gleaned, I suppose, from a notice 
in the periodical of the Mission. 

In November last, having been provided with a small steamer by the 
children of the Church, the voyage was again undertaken. I give the 
following notes respecting it, in which there is nothing added to Dr. King's 
narrative, except fuller notices of the tribes inhabiting its banks. 

Monday, 10th Nov. 1884. — We embarked in our little steamer, the David 
Williamson, and took our course up mid-channel. Opposite Duke and 
Creek Towns the river spreads out into an extensive estuary, its waters 


divided by numerous islands covered with mangrove forest, which streams 
unite between the towns of Ikunetu and Ik-orofiong, as they do also in 
their progress towards the sea below Parrot Island, and so give a better 
entrance to ships of burden than any of the mouths of the Niger. In the 
evening we anchored off Ikorofiong, the most northern Calabar town, built 
on Ibibio soil, and where there is a large oil-market. It is the Ibibio 
people who produce the greater part of the oil exported from Calabar. 
The petty wars constantly breaking out with Calabar, and amongst them- 
selves, much hinder their industry and retard their advance in every way. 

Tuesday, 1 lth. — Left Ikorofiong at 8 o'clock in the morning, and arrived 
at the first town of the Umon tribe early in the afternoon. On our way up 
we passed Itu, a town of Ibibio, where there is also a market. Before 
reaching it we passed an island showing sandstone strata, pleasant to be 
seen after the perpetual mud of Calabar, and opposite the beach another 
islet showed the same foundation, while this rock was constantly cropping 
out in the banks of the river. This Umon town is situated on the top of 
a long island, looking up the river pouring down from the interior, which 
floods it in the rainy season. It is of importance as the site of a market 
to which the surrounding tribes resort, and is the furthest-up place 
which the Calabar traders reach. The Umon people have command of 
the river, and bar the way, not permitting them to go further up, and 
refusing a pass to those above. The chief articles of trade are palm-oil, 
yams, and canoes, the tribe possessing the following towns besides the 
one on the island, Ikot Ana, Biakpan, Ukpan, Ekin, Aqua, Ikun, 
Ikim-eset-ikot. AVe found the town under the despotic power of the 
Fetish priesthood, and in consequence the murder of twin children and 
expulsion of the mother, the frequent use of the ordeal for witchcraft, and 
other customs of blood, keep the poor people under constant fear. 

As soon as we dropped anchor we went on shore to make ourselves 
and the purpose of our visit known, but had to wait a considerable time 
for the appearance of the chief, having in view a juju house, around which 
were arranged a large number of human skulls, painted with various 
coloured earths. At length he made his entrance into the palaver-house, 
accompanied by his constant attendant, the chief priest, who, as he is 
persuaded, keeps him alive. Our reception Mas not at all cordial, and 
when, on the following morning, we paid a parting visit to make the usual 
present, Avhich was not reciprocated according to custom, the priest 
attempted to stop us, when he learned that we were intending to go up 
the river. The young man who acted as interpreter said that the mission- 
aries were in the habit of going where they liked, and then he gave us 
permission to go in a canoe, but prohibited us from taking up the steamer. 

Wednesday, 12th. — Early in the morning Ave got up steam, and reached 
Ikot-Ana, another Umon town, in the afternoon. The people had got 
notice of our intended visit, and we saw the British ensign flying as we 
approached the town. Here we met with a cordial reception. The 
founder of the town, Ana by name, Avas a great friend of King Ego II. of 


Creek Town, and followed him in rejecting some of the barbarous customs 
of the country. This led to a civil war with the party in the island town 
where he then resided, who clung to the old ways; and he withdrew 
with his people, and formed this town ; Ikot-Ana being literally the 
people of Ana. The head-men are desirous that the Mission plant a 
station amongst them ; and have given sites for church, school-house, and 
residence. A brother of the chief was, in his boyhood, for a time in 
one of the Mission-houses. 

So far we made our way with Efik, but above this, though we 
found everywhere we went some one who understood our tongue, we 
required an interpreter. "We failed in getting one in Calabar ; but here 
the chief supplied our lack by giving one of his people, named Etang, to 
accompany us. He is a native of Atam, has a good knowledge of Efik, 
and made himself understood by the people of the various towns which 
we visited. He interpreted our message of Gospel truth as faithfully as 
he could, so far as we could judge from his anxiety fully to understand 
what we stated to him in Efik. Still we spoke of things of which he had 
no personal knowledge, and in which he had no interest. 

The chief, with his following, came on board to see our wonderful 
canoe, and in the following morning took a short trip in it, his own canoe 
following to take him off. 

Thursday, 13th. — Left Ikot-Ana at 8.45, and made Okureke (Akurike), 
the first town of the Akunakuna tribe at one o'clock ; we anchored by mis- 
take at a small town a little below it, and paid our respects to the chief, 
a withered old man, who was quite delighted to receive us. Having 
exchanged gifts, according to use and wont, we went on to the beach of 
Okureke. Besides this town, the tribe possess : — Abinabiang, Ibinsuba, 
Udine, Itu, Ikpisim, Emumurua (Emura-mura), Ikun, Abiangwan, Aduno. 

Okureke is situated on a rocky eminence, and from its position, being 
a short distance from the river, with a morass between, access to it must 
be had b}' canoe, in the rains. As we went up we saw a number of canoes 
in the process of manufacture, this being a principal industry in the upper 
parts of the river. They are so far roughly prepared, and the purchaser 
finishes them to suit his taste or purpose. They are made of large hard- 
wood trees, capable of conveying the palm-oil puncheons, carried to market 
by the Calabar traders. A wondering crowd, as usual, surrounded us on 
our landing, and as we passed on we noticed a remarkable specimen of 
native art — a section of a large tree rudely carved to represent two 
persons, larger than life, the one standing above the other. 

We were conducted to the house of the chief Okun Aba, but had to 
wait some time on his appearance ; and in the meantime the elders of the 
town kept going out and into the apartment where he was secluded. 
When he came out he wore a surly face, as if he made us anything but 
welcome, and the frown he did not smooth down, even when Mr. Beedie, 
one of my fellow-travellers, presented him with some carpenter's tools, 
which had been promised him on the former visit. He seemed something 


of a character, and could enjoy a practical joke — at least when made by 
himself. He transferred the hat of my fellow-voyager, Mr. Janett, to his 
own head, and joined in the boisterous laughter with which his followers 
hailed the transformation. Okun went through a formal ceremony 
in receiving us. Calling for a lump of salt, he scraped a little on the 
ground with his thumb, muttering something as he did so ; then took a 
horn of palm-wine, uttered a somewhat long speech over it in a low voice — 
perhaps a prayer to his juju — and then poured it on the ground by way of 
libation. A piece of dried venison was handed round, of which all took a 
morsel; and thus a friendly alliance was made. All. then set to drinking 
the palm-wine while it lasted. The chiefs of all the tribes we visited, in 
making friends, went through this ceremony more or less fully ; the par- 
taking of a little dried venison or fish never being omitted, likely because 
it is the only article of food they can have by them always ready for use. 

Here we fell in with Eko, the young man who had attached himself to 
the company who visited these parts two years ago. He again offered 
his services as pilot, which we accepted ; but the Okureke people extracted 
an oath of him in their own mode, that he would not help us to a know- 
ledge of traffic. Human nature, civilised or savage, holds tenaciously to 
the monopoly of any benefit it can secure to itself. 

Friday, lith. — This morning we had a great many visitors; and at length 
the old chief appeared with his followers to inspect the steamer, wonder- 
ing at and admiring everything. This being done, and having exchanged 
gifts, we left at 8.40. 

Anchored off Emumuruaat 10.35. The people here also had possessed 
themselves of a British ensign, and hoisted it in honour of our arrival. 
Three or four villages in close proximity to each other lie along the bank 
of the river, and unitedly give a large population. We visited the chiefs 
of two of them, both very old men. Whether the one Word of Truth and 
Life which they heard penetrated the darkness which has been deepening 
upon them through a long life, only He who has immediate access to the 
minds of His creatures can tell. 

Left Emumurua a little after midday, and dropped anchor off Ibum 
(Ebom), in the evening. In our way up we passed a number of Afikpo 
people, a tribe on the opposite side of the river, who crowded down from 
their town, named Unwana, placed on the top of a hill, in order to get a 
nearer view of the steamer. We hailed them, and asked them to provide 
firewood against our return ; but, very probably,' they wondered to what 
use we could apply it. 

Mr. Edgerley and his companions had spent a Sabbath at Ibum, tra- 
velling in a canoe ; but when the people saw us moving along in our large 
smoking canoe, they evidently feared that it might be something uncanny. 
When we landed there was a good deal of altercation amongst the elders 
of the town, evidently in regard to our reception. The chief, it seems, 
had hid himself, not knowing what we might be, nor what our purpose in 
coming upon them in such a strange way, so that we had to return on 


board without seeing him. We asked them to provide firewood for the 
steamer, and next morning they set heartily to work, and soon had a 
large pile heaped up. 

We went to call on the chief after breakfast, and get a meeting with 
the town's-people. Immediately above the bank we passed through a 
market, which was being held under the shade of trees. The articles 
exposed for sale were the common produce of the country, with cloth and 
other European goods imported into Calabar and Bonny. Those from 
the Niger are brought across the country by the people of Inokim, a town 
or district of Ibo so-called, who travel amongst these tribes, making trade 
in every commodity they can get sold — slaves included. Their women 
are distinguished by the tasteful mode in which they dress their hair. 
Their scanty clothing, merely a loins' cloth, gives little scope for display- 
ing their desire for personal adornment, but they are at great pains to 
do this in their hairdressing. We do not often see such ornamental 
heads in Calabar ; but the women of Gaboon have an elaborate mode of 
producing them. It is said to take a day to dress a head, but that one 
dressing will suffice for a fortnight. 

We found the king, a little old man, busy weaving a fishing-net. As 
Ave passed through the town we saw many engaged in making cord of 
bark, and weaving nets much in the same mode that the art is practised 
in Scotland. He seemed to have lost his timidity, and received us gladly, 
at once agreeing to call the people together that we might have oppor- 
tunity of addressing them. In speaking of the duty God requires of us 
to each other, our auditors, among other things, took exception to the 
sixth precept of the Decalogue. The Afikpo people, they said, were at war 
with them, and all their negotiations had been unsuccessful in procuring 
peace. They themselves injured no one, but they must defend themselves 
when attacked, in the reasonableness of which Ave acquiesced. 

We had a large intercourse during Saturday, all day long ; and as Ave 
purposed remaining at anchor during Sabbath, Ave arranged Avith them 
to have meetings on that day. HoAveA r er, on Sabbath morning an alarm 
of Avar Avas raised, from one of their villages in the neighbourhood, and 
all fieAv to arms. They poured out along the bank of the river toAvards the 
place Avhere they supposed the Afikpo people had made an attack ; most of 
them armed Avith guns, a feAv Avith merely a hatchet. It proved a false 
alarm, and they soon returned, giving us the opportunity Ave desired of 
meeting them. We had asked them not to A r isit the steamer on God's 
day, and a proclamation Avas made prohibiting this, Avhich was faithfully 
obeyed, but a croAvd kept its position on the beach throughout the day, 
gazing at the David Williamson, and observing everything done. 

The chief suggested the palaver-house as a better place of meeting 
than his yard. To it Ave repaired, and had an overcroAvded audience. 
After our address the elder freely expressed their mind respecting the 
strange things brought to their ears, which we Avere glad to hear, as 
shoAving that they paid attention to AA'hat Avas said, and also giving us 


an opportunity of meeting their views. At an afternoon meeting, the 
first spokesman, before giving his opinions, made obeisance to the chief 
by bowing down and touching the ground with the tips of his fingers, 
then turning to us he placed his palms that we might blow into them, 
and we returned the compliment. 

The following names we got of towns in the neighbourhood : — Afaifai, 
Ediba, Anon, Eken, Edyumedyum, Asubo, Ekpiakpun, Etemtet. Several 
of these tribes are reputed cannibals, and very likely all are guilty of the 
horrid custom during war. 

Monday, 17th. — Left at 7.15, and, passing several villages, cast anchor 
between two, Ediba and Edidi, situated on opposite sides of the river. 
We saw the chiefs of neither, and got up steam again at midday, wishing 
to get to one named Inyanyaha before sundown. In this we did not 
succeed, and so we anchored off the bush below the town. 

Tuesday, 18th. — In a little more than one hour we reached it this 
morning, and had our audience of the usual noisy crowd, but the chief 
we saw not. Leaving a present for him, we took our departure, and at 
3 o'clock anchored off Ekudi. A great crowd lined the beach, a market 
having been held during the day, and canoes from various quarters lay 
at the landing. A shouting procession accompanied us to the chief's 
place, who seemed reluctant to make his appearance, but eventually 
came and presented us with the usual gift — a goat and a few yams. 
Many in the crowd were the worse for licpior, having partaken freely 
of the white man's strong drink, some man kindly offering a bottle of 
that which he himself loved so well. With difficulty we made ourselves 
heard, and, having given the chief our gift in return — a morning gown, a 
piece of cloth, and a few small articles — we left and passed up to Adadaha, 
on the opposite side of the river, and anchored for the night As soon 
as we had dropped anchor, the brother of the chief came on board, and 
invited us on shore, the first instance of such confidence we have met 

Wednesday, 19th. — After visiting the town and addressing the people, 
weighed anchor and steamed past the Atam villages. The river was falling 
rapidly, and we were anxious to reach the rapids, so did not drop anchor 
till we reached a town called Alaha, at 4.10. When we went on shore, 
two fowls were sacrificed on the beach, no doubt to counteract any evil 
influence we might bring with us. The town is built on a hill of moderate 
height, and the houses, while very low, have the walls plastered in a style 
superior to those of the other tribes through which we passed. Entering 
the court of the chief's house, we waited for his appearance, but it was 
only by considerable urgency on the part of our interpreter, that he was 
prevailed on to come forth. When he did appear, we saw a strong young 
man, who came covering his eyes with his hands, as a child overcome 
with shyness before strangers, at the same time laughing at his own 
awkwardness. We made ourselves and our purpose in this visit known, 
and in reply he stated that they knew of white men, mentioning Captain 


Becroft's expedition, and the visit of our friends two years ago, though 
they did not reach so fax as Alaha. But they were afraid to see white 
men, for our friends had brought chigoes into the country, and they were 
apprehensive some evil might follow our coming. However, as we had 
come they bade us welcome, and would give us food, asking what they 
would prepare for us. To this we replied, "The food you make for 

In the morning we returned to the town, and found abundant food 
provided, in the form of fufu, with its accompanying sauces. After 
addressing the town's-people, and having some intercourse with the chief, 
he so far mustered courage as to accompany us on board to see the steamer, 
and all the wonderful things in it. When he got the customary present, 
he with great complacency examined every article, and when he went on 
shore exhibited them to a crowd which surrounded him. He expressed 
a wish that next time we came we should bring some things for trade. 

All day long we were employed in getting firewood, and the people 
came alongside, to get a nearer view of the steamer, many coming on 
board with the present of a few ground-nuts, a jar of palm-wine, or any- 
thing they had at hand. 

Thursday, 20th. — Started early this morning, but made very little way, 
a dense fog coming down on the river, which stopped further progress. 
We feared also that our fuel might fail, and we reluctantly turned the 
bow of the steamer homeward. 

At this distance from its mouth, the river presents a fine appearance ; 
a broad stream, bordered by a hilly country, while a range of mountains 
appears in the distance. 

In our downward journey we first stopped at Uyenge, a town of 
Atam. When passing up, the people invited us on shore, and now they 
were pushing off a canoe to intercept us, so as to secure a visit. We 
however, intended to call here in order to procure the seeds of a palm 
which we have not in Calabar, frequently mentioned by Dr. Barth as the 
debel-palm, which he found plentiful near Lake Chad and in other places. 

At midday stopped at another town called Okpiirokup. The people 
listened attentively to our message, and in reply stated that the time was 
not propitious for giving attention to the things we brought to their 
knowledge. Their town was at a distance, but a neighbouring people had 
scattered them, and they at present formed a temporary settlement at 
the side of the river, still hoping to be able to return to their former 

Early in the afternoon anchored at Omine, a town of a district called 
Ofungmbungo. In one of the juju houses we saw a row of human skulls, 
such a display as we have not seen since leaving Umon. In the former 
visit, however, the Rev. Mr. Beedie, who gives the account of it, says, 
respecting another village whom they visited, named Inokpafia, " we were 
taken to the palaver-house, where we counted 151 skulls ranged around. 
Many of them, from their size, must have been the skulls of mere infants, and 


all of them were trophies of war. Several of them had heen cut open, 
which would indicate that they had fallen in fight, but the children had been 
caught and butchered. The people said that they had observed that we 
did not look at the skulls in an approving way. Strangers who came to 
the town usually praised them, because they could show so many heads 
of their enemies. They would take them down, but what would they do 
with them ] Mr. Edgerley said they should bury them in the ground. 
We were anxious to visit another village about three miles in the opposite 
direction called Mbana. When a little more than half-way, we passed 
through the site of a town which had been destroyed by war about four 
years ago. It had covered a large space of ground, but all that remained 
were clay mounds and the war-fence surrounding them. One of our 
guides showed us a thicket down in a hollow place where, he said, about 
500 women and children had been taken by the victors and butchered. 
Making allowance for exaggeration, there is no doubt a dreadful massacre 
had taken place." 

Passed several towns, the people of which, seeing we did not intend to 
call, sent off to the steamer their goat or sheep, thus showing their desire 
for friendly intercourse. Anchored for the night at Inyayaha. 

Friday, 21st. — Left this morning, and reached Ibum about midday, and 
took on board some firewood, then crossed the river to visit a town of the 
Afikpo people, called Mkpiiro. It is built on the top of a hill, and when 
we made the ascent, we had an extensive view of the country. A small 
lake appeared between the left bank of the river and hills in the opposite 
region. A higher range lay beyond these. The lake, we were told, had no 
connection with the river. It being the first appearance of the white man 
amongst them, the elders of the town were evidently at a loss how to 
receive us and do the honours for their village : and we interrupted their 
conference, while we relieved them of their difficulty, as we thought, by 
telling that we could not wait till they cooked food for us, but wished 
them to give a hearing to what we had to say. This they did most 
attentively. The Afikpo people, as we saw them here, have scantier cloth- 
ing than the other tribes we visited — little as that is in all cases — the loins' 
cloth sufficing all, and they appeared altogether ruder. Mrs. Ludwig, one 
of our number, having made friends with the women, as she did at all the 
places visited, by a present of needles, thread, etc., they in return sought 
to meet her friendly advances by giving anything they had at hand, and 
here some, having nothing to bestow but articles of their own industry 
presented her with a collection of pots and dishes of various sorts. The 
women are the potters in these tribes, and in forming their ware for 
various uses, they make the clay into rolls, and build up the articles by 
successive layers of these, kneading the clay inside and out. They make 
their crockery very neatly, but the burning is very defective. 

We passed on in the afternoon to Itu, a small town lying between 
Emumurua and Okureke, to which our pilot, Eko, belonged. He had been 
sold into Calabar, but found opportunity to escape to his own country. 


We found him intelligent and careful. We spent the Sabbath here, meet- 
ing with the people ; and in replying to the various matters spoken of, the 
old chief acknowledged that when any townsman died, they hunted in the 
bush, and killed any stranger they found to bury with him, but they would 
give up the practice. This is the mode in the Union tribe also, of killing 
for the dead. 

Monday, 24th, — Weighed anchor at 7.35, but missing the channel, soon 
stuck on a sand-bank. This was hazardous, as the river was falling rapidly, 
so all hands set to work, and after four hours' hard labour we got off. This 
delayed us, so that we did not reach Ikorofiong in the evening, as we 
intended, but anchored for the night beside some Eniong farms. Visited 
the farm-people of this tribe while getting up steam next morning, but, 
after starting, again got on a bank, which detained us for two hours. 
Arriving at Ikorofiong beach, we landed Eev. Mr. Janett ; then on to 
Ikunetu, where we landed Eev. Mr. Ekanem, and so on to Creek and Duke 
Towns, which were reached before night, terminating our voyage of two 
weeks and two days. 

We found a large population along the banks of the river, so far as we 
went. About Calabar — and lower down, large mangrove swamps, unfit for 
habitation, limit the population of the estuary, but before the northern 
boundary of Calabar territory is reached, those swamps disappear, and 
above Union the towns and villages are thickly planted on the river's bank. 

The population in this part of Africa, however, has been broken up by 
the slave-trade into small tribes, — Calabar and Bonny, as I have stated, 
having been the great seats of this traffic when it prevailed. Though a 
limited traffic to some extent unites them, each tribe remains isolated in 
its own little territory, at enmity with its neighbours when not in actual 
warfare, and so great is the feeling of insecurity that the head men will 
not venture out of their own town district. 

We found all the towns of Akunakuna built on sandstone strata com- 
ing up to the surface. A good material for building thus lies at hand, but 
the people do not make use of it. In Union and above, except in Ikot Ana, 
the rudest, because the easiest, mode of house-building contents the people. 
A rude wall is built of wattle, plastered with clay, but no pains are 
bestowed to make it smooth, as is done in Calabar. The clay is thrown 
on to the frame of sticks only on one side, and protrudes through the inter- 
stices. To support the wall, though it is built low, longer sticks, crooked 
and rough as they may happen to be when cut in the bush, are placed 
here and there. 

The country ascends and presents a varied and pleasing aspect as one 
goes up the river. At Akunakuna and above, the perpetual jungle of the 
lower courses of the river is broken in upon ; low hills of rounded form, 
showing a sandstone formation, appear covered with Guinea grass, inter- 
spersed with trees, which reminded some of us of Jamaica. This grass 
forms the pastures of that island, and is so named from having been got 
from this coast. 


The industry of the tribes through which we passed is chiefly given to 
the cultivation of their farms, in which they raise yams, plantains, maize, 
sugar-cane, grown only for eating, ground-nuts, etc. Large quantities of 
yams are imported into Calabar, which does not grow sufficient for its own 
support. These come through Umon, through which channel a considerable 
quantity of palm-oil is brought down. The oil-palm is not so plentiful 
inland as nearer the coast, so that I doubt if much increase of that article 
of export is to be looked for from the up-country. We saw several groves 
of this palm, but the upper regions are, for the most part, destitute of it. 
It might doubtless be extensively cultivated, but the people take no 
thought to plant it. 

One thing which tells much against the advance of these tribes is the 
free use of the " fire-water " with which our traffic floods the coast. It 
has penetrated into regions which the traveller has not yet entered, so we 
found it in advance of us wherever we went. At Ibum and Alaha the 
empty gin-bottles were neatly piled up so as to form, apparently, a potent 
juju. It must have sadly disappointed any one who desires the welfare 
of his fellow-men above his own gain, that the motion made at the 
Berlin Congo Conference, to prohibit the import of strong drink into the 
newly formed state, was not adopted. In snatching at present gain 
through a traffic in intoxicating liquors, now so extensive among the tribes 
of the West Coast, the African merchant is repeating the achievement of 
the man in the fable who killed the goose which laid the golden eggs. A 
healthy and extensive commerce cannot be created where "fire-water" 
floods the land. When the greater part of their industry is expended by 
the poor people on intoxicants, can they arise from the degradation into 
which the slave-trade sunk them 1 The time must come, if Africa is to 
arise, when the nations of Christendom shall agree to prohibit trade in 
them, as they have prohibited the slave-trade. 


By the Rev. Robert Hamilton, Melbourne. 

The following Traditional Tales, collected from the lips of the older 
aborigines with whom the writer has personally come into contact, may 
help to throw light on the much-disputed question of the affinities of the 
Australians. The attempt has been made to present them as much as 
possible in their natural simplicity, though the writer confesses that, to 
his mind, their most striking features are the coincidences they present 
with the narratives of the Hebrew Scriptures, of which he believes they 
are but "broken lights." 

The Saving of the Human Race from the|Woman and the 
Serpent. — There are three Divine Intelligences acting in concert, Bund-jil, 


Tud-ger, and Tarrang or Dhar-na-nang, the first father, the second brother, 
the third son. They are benignant, and have often taken an active interest 
in the welfare of the human race. As for instance :— There was once a 
wicked woman who made alliance with a serpent, which she kept in the 
hollow trunk of a large fallen tree. When she saw "black fellows" 
passing she "cooeyed" to them, and persuaded them to come near the 
tree to catch the fine bandicoot she promised to drive out. Instead of 
bandicoot the snake darted out, and stung the unwary victims to death. 
The destruction of mankind in this manner seemed inevitable. Bund-jil 
at length intervened, and sent brother Tud-ger to prevent such a 
catastrophe. Tud-ger appears near the tree in the likeness of a black 
fellow, but when the woman makes her usual proposal, he insists on 
driving out the bandicoot for her to catch. When at length she 
reluctantly yields to his demand, she meets the fate she had dealt out to 

The Saving of the Human Race from the Woman with the 
Fire. — Another wicked woman planned the destruction of the human race. 
She lived in a region where there was a great mountain. A large 
opening into the mountain-side, like a huge tunnel or wombat-hole, 
seemed as if it were a natural passage to attractive hunting-fields on the 
other side. This the woman lined with dead boughs of the peppermint 
tree and of all quick-burning woods, to give it the appearance of a large 
store for the use of a multitude. Near the mouth she had also a great 
number of mia-mias in the form of an encampment ; and she kept the 
camp-fires constantly burning. The blacks who passed within sight 
readily believed in the presence of natives ; and when, in answer to the 
cooey, they approached and found only one solitary woman watching the 
fires, she explained the astonishing circumstance, by saying that the 
people from the camp had gone a-fishing, to the hunt, or to hold corro- 
boree, but if the visitors followed their tracks through the tunnel they 
would soon find them. When she saw them walk within the passage she 
set fire to the fuel at the mouth and smothered them to death. Bund-jil 
sent his son Tarrang to deliver the human race from this ogress. Tarrang 
appeared like a black fellow, entered the tunnel as directed, but forced 
his way out by a new passage ; and, suddenly coming upon the woman 
from behind, pushed her into the flames she had lighted for his destruction. 

Tradition of a Deluge. — Among the aborigines of the Portland 
district there is a tradition that a flood destroyed the whole human race 
with the exception of one man, who was saved by one of the great powers 
taking hold of his long spear and drawing him up into the clouds from 
the top of a volcanic hill (Mount Eccles). On the flood passing away the 
man returned, and became the father of the new race of men. 

The first obtaining of Fire. — A maiden, whose native name was 


Mun-mim-dik, had somehow or other become the sole owner of fire, which 
she kept in the end of a yam-stick. (The yam-stick, it may be explained, 
is a rod about 5 feet long, the point of which is hardened by fire to fit it 
for digging up roots out of the earth). The maiden used the fire for her 
own convenience and comfort, but no persuasion coidd make her share 
the benefits with others, and all attempts at securing the treasure by force 
or fraud proved unsuccessful. Bund-jil, however, sent his son to the 
assistance of the race. Failing to persuade the fire-maiden to a voluntary 
surrender, he had recourse to stratagem. Having buried a poisonous 
snake in a great ant-hill, he asks her to come and help him to dig up the 
ants' eggs — considered a delicacy. She, of course, digs up the snake. 
Tarrang calls out, "Hit it, hit it!" As she strikes the creature with her 
yam-stick the fire is set free. Tarrang seizes it, and bestows it upon men. 
To prevent the maiden ever resuming her monopoly, he removes her to a 
place in the sky. where she became the " Seven Stars." " She is to be 
seen there now." 

The Castle of the Evil Spirit. — Ta-ga-din was the house of the 
Wicked One. It Mas a most formidable and strongly fortified place among 
the wild ranges on the Big River, one of the tributaries of the Goulburn. 
The " Blacks " of Corandirrk frequently go a day's journey to the neigh- 
bourhood in search of pheasants, lyre-bird, and other game ; but Un- 
scrupulously keep aloof from the spot. They have been taught in early 
life how the Wicked Spirit cooeys to the Blacks, entices them to his 
stronghold, and keeps them as miserable captives ; boys, especially, being 
the object of his pursuit, that he may turn them into demons like himself. 
Bund-jil, they say, tried many plans to break down the mighty stone walls 
of this castle. Appearing, by his son or brother, in the form of man for 
this purpose, he found the perpendicular walls could not be scaled. But 
at last an invisible agent passed over the castle in a big black cloud, and 
sent down great flashes of fire which split the rocks in pieces, and opened 
a way for the prisoners to escape. The enemy has never been able to 
rebuild his house. 

RETURN from the Dead. — Any one having before death drunk water 
from the moon will come back to life ; but any one having drunk from 
the native pigeon (Mun-gu-bra) will never come to life again. By this 
restoration to life is understood reappearance in another human form. 
There is no possibility, unfortunately, of ascertaining beforehand who has 
drunk from the moon, and who from the pigeon : no one could tell to 
which class he himself or any one else belonged, nor was there any know- 
ledge of where either kind of water was to be obtained, or of how it 
was drunk. An old Black, Jamie Webster, whom I personally knew, was 
a singular illustration of this delusion. He maintained to the last day of 
his life that Mr. John Green, Manager at Corandirrk, was his deceased 
brother in new form. Xo assertion or argument could drive the notion 


out of his head. He clung to Mr. Green as to his real brother, and always 
took up his abode as near as possible to him, displaying the utmost con- 
fidence and esteem, and invariably telling him where he was going when 
lie went to fish or to hunt. When he spoke of matters which had occurred 
in his brother's lifetime, he expected Mr. Green to join in the conversation, 
as if he knew all about the events. To all Mr. Green's protestations of 
ignorance, he would reply in the most serious manner : "You not 'member 
— you forget — you not tumble down (die) yet. That long time before 
you tumble down." When Mr. Green spoke in his hearing of what was 
revealed in Scripture concerning the unseen world, Jamie implicitly 
believed, and his assurance was confirmed that his brother had come from 
the dead, and was simply relating what he had seen and heard in another 


By W. J. N. Liddall, M.A. (Edin.), B.A. (Lond.), Advocate. 

The scientific investigation of the origin and meaning of place-names is 
a study as important as it is interesting, and to pursue it successfully 
demands a combination of several qualifications. That it can be made 
a popular subject, even when elaborated in a scientific method, is clear 
from the deservedly well-known books of Mr. Joyce. 

We are already familiar with the warning of how misleading it may 
be to identify race by language, and we need to be equally cautious in 
discerning to what particular language a place-name is referable. It is 
remarkable with what constancy place-names are retained by a race of 
different language which has acquired a country; and the names re- 
spectively belonging to a number of superinduced languages have to be 
marked off, just like the geological strata of the country. The familiar 
instance of Wansbeck water shows a name containing a word of the same 
signification in three dialects. We have to guard too against the tendency 
to make a name belonging to an unknown language somewhat intelligible 
by assimilating it to a word of the language of the people using the name, 
just on the same principle that a gardener talks of " sparrow-grass." 

It is specially in reference to Scottish topography that I wish now 
to consider the subject, and I am glad to see that its importance is 
emphasised in the article "Gaelic," in the Encyclopaedia Britannka, by Dr. 
MacLauchlan, who writes : " The study of this subject is full of interest, 
and is capable of producing important results, both linguistic and his- 
torical. Tbe field is as yet unoccupied, and affords much to encourage the 
judicious and painstaking student." 

Now while every one, Celt or Saxon, may help this work by collecting 
and tabulating place-names, the final results cannot be arrived at by one 


who knows merely Scottish or Irish Gaelic, or "Welsh, or all three, but by 
one who has a thorough grasp of the principles of philology, and, in 
detail, of those principles as applied to the Celtic languages. Further, 
the study is a comparative one in every way, and the student must 
have a thorough knowledge of Irish topography. The difficulties of 
Scottish Celtic topography are greater than Irish in this respect as well 
as in others, that while in both countries there are districts where Celtic 
is no longer spoken (but where names are, of course, Celtic), in Ireland 
we have the literary forms preserved in compositions, while in Scotland 
we have not. The vowel system of Celtic is far finer and more delicate 
than that of English, and the result is that often two, or it may be three 
or four, quite distinct Celtic words are represented by one and the same 
spelling of the slovenly-speaking Saxon. Nevertheless, by a careful 
examination of extant Scottish charters and other documents, it is astonish- 
ing how certainly we can often analyse an apparently hopeless form. 

I propose now to illustrate the subject by an investigation carried on 
by myself. The district I selected was Kinross-shire and vicinity. It 
was a county I had a personal interest in from residence there at times. 
But, over and above that, I had in view the problem, Could I identify any 
Welsh, or to use the extremely convenient and more accurate term of 
Professor Rhys, Brythonic forms 1 The following passage from Dr. Skene's 
Celtic Scotland will explain why one should look for such forms. Speaking 
of the analysis of the list of Pictish kings, Dr. Skene writes that — 

" Another part of the list shows Gaelic forms, but more removed from the Irish, 
with a considerable British element ; that this part of the list is more connected with 
the Southern Picts ; that the British element is not Welsh but Cornish, and belongs 
to that part of the territories of the Southern Picts which lay between the Tay and 
the Forth. The explanation probably is that this district formed part of the 
territory occupied by the Damnonii, who, as they bore the same name, were probably 
of the same race as the Damnonii of Cornwall ; and when a part of this tribe was 
included in the Roman province, the northern part beyond the wall which formed 
the boundary of the province was incorporated into the Pictish kingdom." — Celtic 
Scotland, i. 211. 

Besides consulting early records for this work, I have made use of the 
maps of Bleau and of Timothy Pont, but it is necessary to warn any one 
using them for this purpose that the greatest caution must be exercised in 
accepting any forms found there. 

My result is that the topography of Kinross-shire is purely Gaelic. I 
cannot with anything like certainty place my finger on a single name of 
Brythonic origin. The only comparison that is obviously suggested is 
the existence of the name Devon as a river in the district in question, and 
as a county in the south of England, — a circumstance which seems to be 
parallel to the occurrence of the name Damnonii, referred to in the above 
extract from Celtic Scotland. One or two Scandinavian names can be 
pointed out. 

Of course Gaelic has long ceased to be spoken in this district, and the 


names are not the Tertiary deposits (to use the language of Geology) of 
the Highlands where Gaelic is spoken, but correspond to at least the 
Secondary strata. 

An easy test of Gaelic topography is bally (baile, town). This is 
adequately represented in Balado, Balleave, Ballingall, Ballingry, Balgedie, 
and probably Shanwell (i.e. sean bhaile). 

I a a is occurs Avith the two meanings it has in Ireland — island, or a piece 
of meadow-land bounded by water. Thus Ave have the Inch, in Lochleven, 
and also, in the other sense, Inchgall. 

The Derrys of Ireland (doire, oakgrove) are represented by Auchter- 
derran (that is, uachdar+doirean, the height of the oaks). 

Leamkna, the elm, giA r es its name to LochleA^en, and the ri\ r er LeA r en. 
In Ireland it occurs as the Laune. Compare Achaleven, in Argyllshire, 
Avhich must mean, " the field of elms." 

Iubhar (pronounced yure) is the yeAA r -tree. It is frequent in Irish 
names, and the toAvn of NeAvry takes its name from this Avord^.the initial 
n being the article — a common phenomenon in Irish, just as in English 
Ave have newt and eft, or in French lierre ( = hedera). Noav in Kinross- 
shire Ave haA r e a parish Orwell, of Avhich I find an old form vuerquhell (Reg. 
Dun/.), and on the map, in this parish, or near it, is a rivulet, Vry. I 
suggest therefore that Orwell is made up of Iubhar and coille, a Avood. 
The same Avord explains Ury (Irish, Uragh). Further, in this parish 
there is a farm Craigo. In Irish there is a simpler form, co, signifying a 
yew, thus Craigo Avould be Yew Craig. 

Chillerney is a name I find on an old map. I think it may be ex- 
plained in the light of Killarney, Avhich is given as Cill-airneadh, the 
church of the sloes, but the first part of Chillerney may be coille, a AA r ood. 

Hattonburn may derive its name from aiieann, furze, AA'hence comes 
Ball} r nahatten in Doaatl. Duncrievie is the fort of the trees (dtin-\-craobh). 
Beith, the birch-tree, occurs frequently, as in the parish of Beath, and 
in Crambeth. Dowhill (old form Doichill) is dubh-\- coille, that is, dark 
Avood. Kilduff is the same in immerse order. The term Feus, as the Feus 
of Drunzie, the Feus of Cash, is from ficlh or fioclh, wood. FeAvs, the 
name of tAvo baronies in Armagh, is the same Avord. Kelty seems to be 
coillte, the plural of coille, a Avood. Fruix is doubtless from fraoch, heather. 

Coldrain seems to contain draeighean, a sloe-bush, a Avord Avhich 
appears in Ireland as Dreen, Drain, and similar forms. 

Mach, a plain or field, is represented in the name MaAvcarse. Mach is 
very common in Ireland, it occurs also in Boto-mag-us, Caesar's form of 
the name of ancient Rouen. Contiguous to MaAvcarse is Arlary. In an 
early charter I find the tAvo names combined in the name Macherderrly, 
thus clearly shoAving the origin of Maw in MaAvcarse. In the county Ave 
have also MaAvhill and MaAvmill. Arlary is ard-\-larach, that is, the 
height of the foundation, just as Finderlie (old form Finlaurie) is fionn and 
larach. I find in an old charter index an entry relating to lands in this 
county, and, amongst the names, MaAvcloych, to be connected likely with 


Mawcarse, as Arlary is also mentioned. Mawcloych (Mawcloych = .!/'.!_'/// 
+dach) means "field of stones," and near Mawcarse there still remain 
the " Standing Stones" (of Orwell, I think they are called). 

Riasg, a marsh. This occurs in Ireland as Risk. In an old map of 
the farm of Findatie, one of the fields is called the Risk Park. This is 
evidently the same word. Findatie occurs in the Chartulary of St. 
Andrews as Fyndawchty. The name Findochty is at present in existence 
near Fochabers. For the origin of the latter part of the name I offer 
no suggestion. 

Arngask is the name of a parish in the neighbourhood of which is 
Glenfarg. In the Chartulary of Cambuskenneth it appears as Arringrosk. 
A form Arengorsk also occurs elsewhere, exhibiting the familiar transposi- 
tion of " r " arising from its semi-vowel nature. This name seems identical 
with Ardingrask or Axdingrosk, an old name occurring in the Inverness 
district. Grade, I believe, indicates a pass or opening, and the name would 
thus signify "the height of the pass" — a meaning exactly descriptive of 
the place. Moreover, on an old